The University of Adelaide’s new Asia Growth Research Centre will draw together great minds from Singapore and around the world, focussing their energies to address one of Singapore’s greatest economic challenges. It is set up as part of the 50th Year Celebration of Singapore’s independence in 2015.

As one of the ‘Asian Tigers’, Singapore has witnessed phenomenal economic growth since the reforms of the 1960s and emerged as one of the world’s most successful industrialising nations. Extraordinary growth levels have transformed the nation from one burdened by poverty, to one of glittering high rises, a globalised economy and good living standards. But as Singapore nears the uppermost rungs of the economic ladder new challenges are emerging.

There is much current debate about the nation’s demographic structure, competitiveness of the economy, and labour policies and how they might need to adjust to deal with new economic realities. The government’s plan to ‘think for the future’, improve productivity across all sectors, and specifically target areas of low labour productivity, is a significant one.

But as with any socioeconomic challenge, it is vital to get the numbers right and build a comprehensive understanding of the varied and complex factors at play, to ultimately deliver good policy. The role of applied research in this undertaking is extremely important.

With this in mind, the University of Adelaide is setting out to develop a regional hub for growth and productivity research in Singapore. Based at the Ngee Ann Adelaide Education Centre, the research centre will attract the very best international and local talent, garnering together brilliant minds in a research concentration that will provide thought leadership on the new sources of growth for Singapore, in particular in innovation and productivity growth.

Research emerging from the Centre will offer clarity around the expectations for growth in Singapore, and inform the policy and business responses required for economic sustainability. In this way the Centre stands to make a significant contribution as Singapore charts its way forward regionally and globally, offering long term benefit to the whole community.

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The centre will focus on:

  • Openness and Regional Integration, including the role of Global Value Chains
  • Labour Market and Human Capital Policies
  • Structural Changes, Innovation, and Productivity Growth, especially in the SME sector

Shandre Mugan Thangavelu (PhD)
Associate Professor
University of Adelaide

Biodata | CV

  • Professor Christopher Findlay, Executive Dean, University of Adelaide
  • Mr Dean Purham, University of Adelaide
  • Jay Menon, Principal Economist, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila
  • Professor Shujiro Urata, Waseda University, Japan
  • Professor Fukunari Kimura, Kieo University, Japan
  • Associate Professor Rasyad Parinduri, University of Nottingham, KL Campus
  • Dr. Sothea Oum, Senior Lecturer, NAA Education Centre, Singapore
  • Dr. Dionisius Narjoko, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Dr. Aekapol Chongvilaivan, ADB
  • Dr. Anbumozhi, ERIA
  • Dr. Adil Mianhiel, Head of Trade Delegation, Pakistan Embassy, Central Asia
  • Dr. Victor Pointies, ADBI, Tokyo
  • Dr. Sanja Pattnayak, Indian Institute of Management

Recent publications include:

  • Thangavelu, S.M., and Dionisius Narjoko, “Human Capital, FTAs, and Foreign Direct Investment Flows into ASEAN”, Journal of Asian Economics, vol. 35, December 2014, pp. 65-76.
  • Thangavelu, S.M. 2015. “Human Capital Dynamics and Industrial Transition in Cambodia“, UNDP Cambodia, UN, forthcoming 2015.

Forthcoming workshop: Value-Chain and Disaster Management, June 29-30, Singapore

Services, Skills and Connectivity
– The New Drivers of Growth

What were the contributors to growth in globalised economies like Singapore and Australia in 2015? This conference explored the interaction between the evolution of the services sector, the profile of skills in the workforce and the quality of connectivity of an economy and their contributions to growth.

The meeting was hosted by the Asia Growth Research Centre which is located in the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre (NAAEC). The programme was designed to build on and to contribute to the depth of the Australia-Singapore relationship, and to make a contribution to the SG50 celebrations.

Keynote speeches were provided by Mr Peter Ong, Head of the Civil Service in Singapore, by Professor Fukunari Kimura, Chief Economist at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and by experts in the fields of growth and productivity, as well as infrastructure financing and skills development.

The meeting was attended by the Australian High Commissioner in Singapore, Mr Philip Green, and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, Professor Warren Bebbington.

In addition to the media release here, you can also click here to recap on speeches as shared by the renowned speakers or to see all the photos taken on the event day.

Foundations of Applied and Evidence-Based Policy Framework

Ministry of Economy and Finance
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

3 – 6 November, 2015

ERIA in close collaboration with Asia Growth Research Centre, Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre, The University of Adelaide, has successfully conducted the first of the three planned capacity-building workshops to around 35 young officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The workshop was held at Ministry of Economy and Finance from November 3-6, 2015.

The second workshop to be held in December is to develop the intermediate capabilities in model and empirical analysis with applied cased studies to be mentored by key experts. The participants will be divided into groups mentored by leading experts to develop key models on particular topic. The respective groups are expected to produce working papers under the guidance of the mentor. The third and final policy regional workshop will be organized at Phnom Penh where working papers from the second workshop will be presented together with key presentations from regional experts. The key outcomes are joint working papers, potential refereed journal publications, and monograph.

This capacity building program is timely responsive to the practical needs of the Government in order to build the capacity of young and dedicated officials to formulate evident-based policy, develop the core modelling and forecasting framework, analyse and monitor the impact and effectiveness of full implementation of ASEAN commitments and domestic policies such as industrial development strategy, education and human resource development.

In closing the workshop, H.E. Dr. Phan Phalla, General Director of the General Department of Economic and Public Finance Policy, on behalf of Minister, Ministry of Economy and Finance expressed high appreciation and gratitude to the support from ERIA and Asia Growth Research Centre.

Prof. Yasuhiro YAMADA, President, Bangkok Research Centre, Japan External Trade Organization, Thailand, Representative of Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA, in his closing remarks hoped that this new type of capacity building program would be able to achieve its objectives to support and develop  core modelling and forecasting framework for the young government officials in the implementation and monitoring of the effectiveness of the current and forthcoming policies of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

The workshop ended with the delivering of certificates of participation by Prof. Yasuhiro YAMADA.

Please click here for the full document, as well as to see some of the photographs taken of the event.