Haroon Sharif

Haroon Sharif

Visiting Fellow

Haroon Sharif is a Visiting Fellow (2021) at the Institute of Development Studies, co-sponsored by Jing Gu and Shandana Mohmand through the Pakistan Hub and IDS China Centre.

Mr. Haroon Sharif served as the Minister of State and Chairman of Pakistan’s Board of Investment in 2018-19. He was Pakistan’s Lead Representative for Industrial Cooperation in the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He championed various reforms for improving Ease of Doing Business, Specialized Economic Zones and facilitating foreign direct investment from China, the Arabian Gulf and East Asia. Pakistan’s ranking on Ease of Doing Business Index improved by 28 places under his leadership. He has been recognized among top 100 leaders in Pakistan in 2019. He is a member of several high-level task forces including Prime Minister’s Task Force on Economic Diplomacy. He is currently engaged as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Senior Fellow at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, and as Senior Advisor to UNDP.

Mr. Sharif is a well-known regional expert of economic policy, international development, economic diplomacy and financial markets who has negotiated transformational regional initiatives in South and Central Asia. He worked as the Regional Advisor to the World Bank Group for six years to promote Economic Cooperation in South and Central Asia. His applied research focuses on economic policies, institutional and industrial developments around China led regional connectivity in South and Central Asia.

As a strategic thought leader, he has been influential in leading economic policy dialogue with heads of state, Ministers, senior government officials, diplomats, multi-lateral organisations, academics and business leaders. He brings in-depth understanding of strategic political economy and institutional issues in South Asia. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the National Defence University in Pakistan and a Senior Fellow of the British Council, UK.

Mr. Sharif worked for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for ten years as the Head of Economic Growth Group. He remained the Executive Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and CEO of financial institutions.  As a world class development policy expert, he held Board level positions on global forums like the Executive Committee of the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), Chair of the General Council of Financial Sector Strengthening and Reform Initiative (FIRST), and the Global Committee on Islamic Finance.

Mr. Haroon Sharif holds postgraduate qualifications in international business and development economics from the London School of Economic and Political Science and the University of Hawaii, USA. He has given key-note lectures in top universities and global forums, published research and articles at both local and international level, and won several prestigious fellowships and awards. He is frequently quoted in leading publications and invited to influential TV talk shows.

Recent publications and media