Vaqar Ahmed

Headshot of Vaqar Ahmed

PEP Research Fellow

Joint Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Pakistan

Dr. Vaqar Ahmed is the Joint Executive Director at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Earlier, he has served UNDP as Advisor, and has undertaken assignments with Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Ministries of Finance, Planning and Commerce in Pakistan. Between 2009 and 2011, he was the Head of Macroeconomics Section in Planning Commission of Pakistan, which is responsible for the formulation of annual, medium and perspective development programmes. He remained the technical associate and member of the task forces, constituted by the Government of Pakistan, including Advisory Panel of Economists (2008), Task Force on Private Sector Development (2009), Working Group on Macroeconomic Framework for Tenth Five Year Plan 2010-15, and Working Group on Social Sector Development for Pakistan Vision 2025. 

He has published extensively in areas such as macroeconomic modeling, inclusive growth and infrastructure reforms, trade and taxation policies, regional trade agreements, trade in services, energy governance, border-related trade infrastructure, youth employment, women-led social enterprises, and social safety nets. His book 'Pakistan's Agenda for Economic Reforms' was published by the Oxford University Press in 2018.

He is the visiting faculty member and researcher in different international institutes, including the National University of Ireland, IMT Institute of Advanced Studies in Italy and Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development. His PhD students are working on, economy-wide evaluation of regional trade agreements, simulating growth and welfare impact of infrastructure and investment policies.  

At regional level, he is leading SDPI’s programme on sustainable trade and investment diplomacy. He was Lead Organizer for 5th South Asia Economic Summit in 2012 and 2015 with policy recommendations framed for eight South Asian governments and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretariat. His recent research on regional issues includes: evaluation of Pakistan – Sri Lanka free trade agreement, non-tariff barriers in India-Pakistan trade, informal trade between India and Pakistan, trade in health services, trade and transit cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, South Asian value chains, and intra-regional foreign direct investment in South Asia.

Apart from South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal), he has worked in, Africa (Kenya, South Africa) on evaluation of improved food technology, United States (International Monetary Fund Fellowship Programme), European Union (Ireland, France, Germany and Italy) on welfare impact of trade reforms, and Far East (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines) on assignments related to South-South exchange and learning. 

Find his CV and list of PEP-supported projects here.

Fields of specialization

Poverty and inequality

Education and training

Impacts of government programs

Fiscal policy

Labour markets and employment

Globalization and trade

Research Fellows


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