Professor Kim Song Tan

Faculty Member, School of Economics, Singapore Management University (SMU)

Professor Tan Kim Song is currently a Faculty Member at the School of Economics at the Singapore Management University (SMU) and was the Director of the Master of Applied Economics program from 2013 to 2016. Prior to his SMU appointment, he was a Managing Director at Fleet Boston Bank, having also worked at other investment banks including Chase Manhattan Bank and others, primarily in the fixed income business. Before joining the investment banks, Prof Tan was a senior correspondent at the Straits Times in Singapore, covering political, economic and business issues in Singapore and in the region.

Besides his work at the SMU, Prof Tan is also active in various businesses in the region. He currently sits on the board of a number of companies in Singapore and Myanmar. He has also worked as a consultant with various private sector companies and public-sector bodies in Singapore and in the region as well as multilateral organizations including the IMF, the World Bank, the ADB and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Prof Tan is active in public service. Among others, he has served for many years as a member of the Appeal Board of the Singapore Competition Commission, Ministry of Trade and Industry; and as the Vice President of the Singapore Economic Society.

Prof Tan holds a PhD in Economics from Yale University in International Economics and a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honors) from Adelaide University.

Link to Presentation: MANAGING SKILL GAPS

Presentation Abstract

The presentation discusses the major issues that the ASEAN-5 countries face in managing the skills gap issues. ASEAN-5 countries have ambitious plans to bring their economies to the next level of development and to realize their enormous economic potential. Yet, few of them have articulated a clear strategy of skill training to support these plans. “Strategic” industries targeted to be key pillars of the economy face large skills gaps that could severely hinder their growth. More generally, insufficient emphasis on STEM and TVET education could slow down their move towards a more technology-oriented and innovation-driven economy. In this presentation, we will discuss the common skills gap problems confronting the ASEAN-5 countries, proposals to tackle these problems and lessons that could be drawn from their experiences.