Vaqar is the Deputy Executive Director at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute. He is a former Advisor to the UNDP and has undertaken assignments with the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, UN-ESCAP, World Intellectual Property Organization and Ministries of Finance, Planning and Commerce in Pakistan. Between 2009-11 he was the Head of the Macroeconomics Section in the Planning Commission of Pakistan, which is responsible for the formulation of annual, medium and perspective development programmes. He was also a technical associate and member in the economic task forces constituted by the Government of Pakistan, including the Panel of Economists (2008), Task force on Private Sector Development (2009), Working Group on Macroeconomic Framework for Tenth Five Year Plan 2010-15, and the Working Group on Social Sector Development for Pakistan Vision 2025.
He has published extensively in areas such as macroeconomic modelling, inclusive growth reforms, trade and taxation policies, regional trade agreements, trade in services, energy governance, and border-related trade infrastructure. He is a visiting faculty member at the National University of Ireland, IMT Institute of Advanced Studies in Italy and the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development. His PhD students are working on an analysis of European Union agricultural reforms, markets in conflict and fragile areas, evaluation of regional trade agreements, and simulating growth impact of infrastructure policies.
At a regional level, he is leading SDPI’s track-II programme on trade and investment diplomacy. He was appointed lead organiser for 5th South Asia Economic Summit with policy recommendations framed for 8 South Asian governments and the 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 services across South Asia and Pakistan’s prospects of cross-border foreign investment in Afghanistan and India. He tweets @vaqarahmed