Shanker Singham is a UK and US citizen and a trade and competition lawyer as well as an author and adviser to governments and companies. He has authored a text book on the subject of trade, competition and regulatory frameworks, as well as lectured, written and spoken extensively, including over one hundred articles and book chapters. He has been featured in various articles and media publications surrounding his expertise in the fields of trade and competition. His more recent developments have been in the areas of Anti-Competitive Market Distortions and the efforts to reduce barriers to free trade on a global platform. Singham has also begun work on identifying and measuring international inhibitors to entrepreneurship and the successful creation of the preconditions necessary for individuals' success.
He is currently serving as the Director of Economic Policy and Prosperity studies at the Legatum Institute. Shanker Singham leads the Legatum Institute’s Economics of Prosperity work which examines how countries can become more productive, and the role free trade—with open, competitive markets—plays in helping people of all incomes increase their prosperity.
Until December 2015 he served as the managing director of the competitiveness and enterprise development project for Babson Global. Babson Global is a wholly owned subsidiary of Babson College. "The Competitiveness and Enterprise Development (CED) Project at Babson Global works with developers and governments in developing countries to put in place the necessary regulatory environment and infrastructure that will spur economic growth through the creation of Enterprise Cities.
Singham worked to identify new ways of delivering economic growth to countries around the world by leveraging the forces of the competitive market system. “CED is based on the principle that economies and societies do best, and achieve the greatest degree of poverty alleviation, when they organize themselves around merit-based competition."
Singham's first engagement with public policy related to the electricity privatization in the UK. From there he worked on privatization legislation in the former Soviet Union, in addition to Competition laws in Hungary, Poland, and other east European nations emerging from socialism. He then focused on enhancing trade and competition legislation for Squire Sanders' Latin American practices in Miami.
He was educated at St. Paul’s School, London and has an M.A in Chemistry from Balliol College, Oxford University and postgraduate legal degrees in both the UK and US.
He founded the Roundtable on Trade and Competition in 1997 as a way of promoting the notion of free trade, competitive markets and property rights protection around the world, having learned the lessons of the openings in the former Soviet sphere, Latin America and China and India's re-insertion into the global economy.
Singham is a cleared advisor to the United States Trade Representative and Department of Commerce, and is a Non-Government Adviser to the International Competition Network. He has also been a senior trade and economics adviser to a number of political candidates including Democratic Governors Lawton Chiles and Buddy McKay of Florida as well as Governor Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Cosmos Club.
Anti-Competitive Market Distortion Developments
His academic text book published in 2007 is one of the first places to have identified Anti-Competitive Market Distortions (ACMDs) as a threat to the global economic system. He further developed the principles of Anti-Competitive Market Distortions in his work with Alden Abbott, Deputy Director in the Office of International Affairs, as well as his various reports in association with the Council on Foreign Relations. "
In a report published by The Australian, Singham was described as a “trade crusader” who has sought to recast trade barriers through a competition lens, and thus promote policy that lifts the world’s poor. Callick, Rowan. " He noted the purpose of trade liberalization however, is to enhance consumer welfare and ultimately make the global supply chain more efficient - hence lifting people from poverty.
The argument that free trade benefits the rich and hurts the rest, that it's a zero sum game, has begun to prevail all over the world. Singham has been seeking to develop a metric to express the welfare losses resulting in Anti-Competitive Market Distortions.
In the Rushford Report, Singham was described as having a “very big idea” which the Administration should take advantage of.
From his work with Babson Global, Singham began work on a project that would seek to redefine the success of global entrepreneurship through a hands-on approach. The Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project that he manages created the concept of an Enterprise City.
Enterprise Cities are established by governments willing to give authority to a new entity comprised of a public-private partnership of government officials, experts, and developers who together create a new regulatory system that delivers a pro-competitive business environment based on free trade, competitive markets and property rights protection. Enterprise cities are beneficial for countries as they include a profit share with the development company that manages this special zone, as well as employment benefits for the local population and wealth generating effects brought about by the Enterprise City. The governance and economic framework is powered by Babson Global in these areas to deliver an overall environment which seeks to maximize the creation of prosperity.
A successful implementation of an Enterprise City will demonstrate principles behind how economies and societies can best be organized, showing how wealth is created for the society as a whole when government distortions and other roadblocks to entrepreneurial.