Tan Kong Yam

Professor, Nanyang Technological University

Professor Tan Kong Yam is presently a professor of economics at the Nanyang Technological University. He is a board member of Changi Airport Group.  

From 1985-88, he was an assistant director in the Monetary Authority of Singapore in charge of exchange rate policy. He was the chief assistant to Dr Goh Keng Swee, the former deputy prime minister of Singapore invited by Mr Deng Xiaoping to advise China on economic development strategy (1985-95). From June 2002 to June 2005, he was a senior economist at the World Bank office in Beijing where he worked on the 11th Five Year Plan with the State Council. Prior to that, he was the chief economist of the Singapore government (1999-2002) and head of department of strategy and policy at the National University of Singapore business school. He was also the director of the Asia Competitiveness Institute at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (2010-2020) 

He is a graduate of Princeton (1975-79, class of 1931 scholar, Paul Volcker Thesis prize) and Stanford University (1980-83), where he completed his Masters and PhD in three years.   

His research interests are in international trade and finance, economic and business trends in the Asia-Pacific region and economic reforms in China. He has published twelve books and numerous articles in major international journals. He has also consulted for many organisations including Temasek, GIC, ExxonMobil, Citigroup, IBM, ATT, BP, ABN-AMRO, and China Construction Bank. 

After years of broad-based growth, China’s economy had become a force to be reckoned with. For about 16 to 20 years, China had devoted itself fully to economic development and managed to overcome some major hurdles. (iStock)

ASEAN: The ultimate winner of a China-US rivalry (Part I)

China’s dominance on the global stage continues to grow. It could just become another “sun” in a solar system that has revolved around the US in the post-war era. But can two “suns” coexist? And what will happen to the other planets around them? This two-part essay is adapted from Prof Tan Kong Yam’s recent speeches in China and the US.
A few global trends could emerge out of this, one of them being the coexistence of two suns in the solar system. (Graphic: Jace Yip)

ASEAN: The ultimate winner of a China-US rivalry (Part II)

China’s dominance on the global stage continues to grow. It could just become another “sun” in a solar system that has revolved around the US in the post-war era. But can two “suns” coexist? And what will happen to the other planets around them? This two-part essay is adapted from Prof Tan Kong Yam’s recent speeches in China and the US.