The president of the Asian Development Bank is hopeful that the new U.S. administration will not put an end to free trade despite the protectionist views of the incoming president.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, just days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, Takehiko Nakao told CNBC: "I hope that the United States will continue to protect it, because it's also in the interest of America."
Trump has pledged to adopt a more protectionist view. He has said that one of his priorities is scrapping a trade deal conducted with Asian-Pacific countries, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
According to Nakao, free trade has been the key "essence" for the economic success in Asia.
"For Asia to continue to grow, it's very important to keep free trade and the investment regime," he told CNBC on Tuesday, mentioning that the current growth forecast for China in 2017 is 6.5 percent.