Nihal Pitigala is an economist with over 20 years of experience providing analytical and advisory work to promote sustainable trade and market-led development in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Dr. Pitigala brings extensive expertise in diagnosing and assessing the impacts of regional trade agreements and trade policy reforms (including qualitative and quantitative modelling), regional and global value chains and standards and has published numerous peer reviewed articles. Dr. Pitigala is currently engaged by the World Bank to develop a strategy for the regional integration of four Sahel countries in West Africa. He was previously engaged as the Lead Economist for a USAID/State Department contracted initiative on Pan African regional integration program. He has similar experience in across South, Central and East Asia. At the World Bank, Dr. Pitigala supported both research (Development Economics Research Group) and operational work (PREM Trade Group)—this included several policy papers on trade policy as part of CEM or PRSP and through recent Diagnostic Trade Integration Strategies in Asia and Africa. He also helped the development of the World Bank Group’s (Prem-Trade) Trade Strategy, 2011-2021. He obtained a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex.
His selected areas of expertise and recent experience include:
• Regional and Multilateral Trade Analysis and Negotiations—Diagnostics of regional trade integration, including regional communities in Africa (EAC, COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS, EU-EPAs), in Asia include (SAFTA, ASEAN, APTA, BIMSTEC, TPP and bilateral FTAs), MENA (GAFTA, Agadir), and Latin America (MERCOSUR). Co-manager of the World Bank’s technical assistance to developing countries in preparation for the WTO Doha and Uruguay Rounds.
• Trade Facilitation: diagnostics of trade frictions across trade and transport corridors in Central Asia. Programs facilitating the implementation of WTO TFA. Recent lecture series for policy-makers in East Asia on the implementation of the WTO TFA.
• Trade Competitiveness—analytical/empirical and policy work on trade policy reforms, export competitiveness, and trade diagnostics (DTISs) and development strategies, analytical/empirical work on vertical integration (of regional and global value chains) and export diversification.
• Investment policy and business enabling environment of SMEs—policy, legal, regulatory and institutional reforms to improve investment climate/business enabling environment.
• Other skills: Stata, SPSS, Experience in econometric analysis using GTAP, Partial Equilibrium, gravity modelling. a proven track record of effective communication and liaison with senior government officials. Training of government staff on trade integration, strategic trade and export policies and trade and investment regulatory reform.