Mr. Shanmuga Retnam

Special Advisor (Indochina), Fundacion Metropoli


Shanmuga Retnam is a highly regarded business leader from Singapore who has gained a stellar reputation both in the private and public sector across Asia. He is currently Partner of MARA (Market Access & Regulatory Affairs) Viet Nam, a boutique trade advisory. Retnam is leading the new urbanisation plan for Greater Hanoi and promoting trade exchange within ASEAN.

Retnam took on the helm of a fledgling industry association as Chairman of the DMAS in 1995 which he turned around and was subsequently employed by Prime Minister’s Office (Singapore) in 2007 to design and deliver the lofty World Cities Summit that secured him a Minister’s Award in 2010. On leaving the civil service, Retnam founded Asia Institute of City Management (AiCM) in 2013 as a demand responsive social enterprise that actively contributed to local provinces and cities across Vietnam and Mekong region.

Educated in Singapore, he currently resides in Vietnam with his wife and is already acknowledged as a thought leader on cross border strategies and economic city branding. Shanmuga Retnam is currently Special Advisor (Asia) for global urban think tank, Fundacion Metropoli and Former Vice President, Singapore Business Association of Vietnam (Hanoi).


Speaker will expound on the Economic City Branding strategy which elaborates on the participatory process of citizenry engagement in the planning of liveable and vibrant cities. The two case studies are Amsterdam’s Transform City and Bali’s Bamboo Economy that is now a Harvard Case Study.

Local cities must recognise the importance of regional linkages both within the country and cross border to build new competitive advantages      in relation to urban regeneration and also accelerating the transfer of knowledge and innovative urban solutions. The case studies are with the Red River Territorial Diagonal, Creative Cities Network and E-Forum of Smart Cities which are vital in rethinking the traditional model to preserve our intangible assets and build new value through private sector engagement.