Photo by ADB

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on Thursday (01/16) it’s President Takehiko Nakao steps down after nearly seven years in office. He became the President of ADB on April 28, 2013, and announced on 17 September 2019 his intent to resign.

“During the past seven years, with the support of member governments, Board members, management team, and staff, we have achieved many things. I am departing ADB with a deep sense of satisfaction and gratitude,” Nakao said in his Farewell Address to staff as cited in the bank’s official web.

The new president will be elected in accordance with an open, transparent and merit-based procedure, ADB said in a statement. The bank lending and grant commitments expanded from US$14 billion in 2013 to $22 billion in 2019, while incorporating more advanced technologies into projects.

Out of this amount, private sector operations (lending, equity investment, and guarantees to private companies) increased from $670 million to about $3 billion. ADB’s operations in social sectors such as health and education were also strengthened, ADB said.

Under Nakao’s leadership, ADB implemented a number of major reforms. The merger of the lending operations of the Asian Development Fund (ADF) with ADB’s ordinary capital resources in 2017 roughly tripled the bank’s equity and enabled a significant increase in lending.

ADB successfully completed the ADF 12 replenishment and obtained broad support for the ADF 13 replenishment covering 2021–2024, aiming to strengthen grant support for poorer and more fragile countries.

In 2018, ADB launched Strategy 2030, which set ADB priorities, including continued efforts to reduce poverty, and with clear targets for climate change, gender, private sector operations, and cofinancing.

ADB was the first multilateral development bank to commit to a sizable climate finance target of doubling its annual climate financing from $3 billion in 2015 to $6 billion by 2020. ADB achieved this target a year early in 2019.

During his term, ADB strengthened its knowledge work. ADB regularly holds major knowledge forums for clean energy, sustainable transport, urban, water, digital transformation, and others. ADB produced landmark reports on infrastructure needs, the impact of new technologies on jobs, and disaster prevention.

In 2017, ADB published Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific for its 50th anniversary, depicting the evolution of ADB since it was founded in 1966. Yesterday, on 15 January 2020, ADB launched a new book, Asia’s Journey to Prosperity: Policy, Market, and Technology Over 50 Years, which provides a comprehensive historical narrative of the rapid transformation of Asia in 15 thematic chapters.

To ensure that ADB efficiently carries out its mission, Nakao led many initiatives in areas such as human resources, procurement, and information technology. Fifteen sector and thematic groups were established to share knowledge across departments and promote a “One ADB” approach. The Office of Public-Private Partnership was created to provide transaction advisory services. ADB is starting a Singapore office to strengthen private sector operations.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com