About ACI

Asia-Blue The Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI) was established in August 2006 as a research centre at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), National University of Singapore (NUS). It aims to build the intellectual leadership and network for understanding and developing competitiveness in the Asia region. ACI seeks to contribute to the enhancement of inclusive growth, living standards and institutional governance through competitiveness research on sub-national economies in Asia. It identifies mitigating issues and challenges for potential public policy interventions through close collaboration with regional governments, business corporations, policy think-tanks and academics. ACI’s three key research pillars include (i) sub-national economies level competitiveness analysis and city-level liveability analysis, (ii) firm-level competitiveness analysis in 16 Asia economies, and (iii) Singapore’s long-term growth strategies and public policy analysis.


ACI’s value proposition may be encapsulated in its acronym:

Analytical inputs to initiate policies for policy-makers and business leaders in Asia

Capacity building to enable others through improvement in productivity and efficiency

Intellectual leadership to create pragmatic models of competitiveness and inclusive growth

The institute’s core research competencies can also be encapsulated in this acronym describing our evidence-based assessments conducted on public policies for ASEAN in the context of the rise of China and India.

The Institute works in affiliation with Professor Michael E. Porter’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness (ISC) at the Harvard Business School. Professor Porter is also the Chairman of the Institute’s International Advisory Panel.

ACI is funded by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, which oversees the Institute’s key performance indicators as a condition for funding. ACI also seeks out additional research funding for individual research projects.

Research and Publications

ACI’s research focuses on growth and competitiveness analysis of sub-national economies in Asia, city-level studies on liveability as well as firm-level research on productivity and management efficiency. ACI disseminates its findings through a series of working papers which translate into academic journal publications, books and monographs, and broader outreach through regular engagement with various governments, policymaking authorities, international agencies, academics, and the private sector.

Societal and Policy Impact

ACI’s research fills a critical gap in knowledge on the relative strengths and weaknesses of national and sub-national economies across Asia. The Institute’s research has helped lay the groundwork for local and national governments to frame and improve their competitiveness policies, and provides guidance for businesses seeking to enter these markets.

Apart from the policy impact of ACI’s competitiveness research, the Institute advises national and local governments in Asia as well as international organizations, including the World Bank and the European Central Bank. Current projects include working with the Confederation of Indian Industry on improving the attractiveness of India as a preferred destination for foreign investors; advising Indonesian ministries on investment opportunities and agricultural productivity; and measuring the impact of intra-ASEAN trade and investment with the World Bank.