Prof Nagesh Kumar is Director and Chief Executive of the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), a public-funded policy think-tank based in New Delhi. Between May 2009-April 2021, he served as Director at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) where he has held a number of senior management roles. These include Chief Economist of UNESCAP, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division (MPDD) and Director of the Social Development Division (SDD), at the UNESCAP headquarters in Bangkok and Head of the South and South-West Asia (SSWA) Office of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) based in New Delhi, that he had the privilege to establish.  

During 2002-09, Dr Kumar served as Director-General of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a New Delhi-based policy think-tank  of the Government of India devoted to international economic and development issues. During 1993-1998, Dr Kumar served on the faculty of the United Nations University-Institute for New Technologies (UNU/INTECH, now UNU-MERIT) in Maastricht, the Netherlands and directed its research programme on Globalization, FDI and technology transfers. He has also served as a consultant to the World BankAsian Development BankUNDPUNCTADUNIDOUN-DESAILO, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, among others.

Dr Kumar has served on the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of India, and on the Governing Boards of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), Geneva; the South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS), Kathmandu; and the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development, New Delhi, besides a number of committees, task forces and expert groups set up by the Government of India. Dr Kumar was nominated by the Indian Government on the Track-II Study Group on Comprehensive Economic Partnership of East Asian Countries (CEPEA), and the Expert Group on Economic Research Institute on ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) set up in 2007 by the leaders of the East Asia Summit. He chaired the regional study group established by the SAARC Secretariat that prepared a blueprint for liberalization of trade in services in South Asia leading to signing of the South Asian Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS) in 2010; and an ERIA study group on infrastructure development in East Asia in 2008.

A PhD in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, Dr Kumar is recipient of the Exim Bank of India's first International Trade Research Award in 1989 and a GDN Medal for best research awarded by the World Bank and the Japanese Government in 2000.

Dr Kumar has written extensively on the development cooperation, developmental impact of FDI, industrial and technology development policies, the challenge of new technologies for development, on regional economic co-operation in Asia, and on WTO and development, among other themes, resulting into 18 books and over 100 research papers in international and national peer reviewed journals, among other publications, attracting over 7100 academic citations at Google Scholar. 


Co-founder of the South Asia Economic Journal (published by Sage) and its co-editor during 2000-2009, Dr Kumar has written popular columns in Business StandardFinancial Express, the Economic Times, leading financial dailies published from New Delhi.

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Find my profile at Google Scholar

My interview on Regional Economic Integration and Connectivity in the Hindu Business Line, 26 August 2016

My interview on Indian economic prospects, outlook for FDI and impact of Brexit etc carried by the Asian Age, 26 June 2016

Watch my interview on Achieving SDGs: Policy Priorities & Implementation Challenges for South Asia at the Institute for Policy Studies, Colombo on 2 June 2016 

Watch my lecture on Foreign Direct Investment and India's Economic Development delivered at the Economics Conclave 2015 at Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics on 13 March 2015

Watch my address on ASEAN-India Economic Relations delivered at the VII Delhi Dialogue organized by the IDSA, March 2015

Watch a special address on South Asia Connectivity delivered at the 7th South Asia Economic Summit, New Delhi, 9 October 2014

Watch a plenary roundtable discussion on Post-2015 Agenda: South Asian Perspectives at the 7th South Asia Economic Summit, held at the India International Centre, New Delhi, 8 October 2014, that I moderated.

Watch my lead presentation on A Closer South Asia: Re-energizing Regional Economic Integration and Connectivity, at 6th South Asia Economic Summit, held at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo, on 2 September 2013
Keynote Address on Globalization and International Competitiveness in a post-crisis world: Some Policy Lessons for India delivered at a National Seminar on Competitiveness at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum on 23 January
Find my popular columns here:
1. In Business Standard, a leading financial daily published from New Delhi.
Saarc summit: grab the opportunity
Hopefully, the Saarc leaders will seize the moment to move forward on the economic agenda for consolidating and sustaining the dynamism of the region
Nagesh Kumar /  October 31, 2011, 0:23 IST
Global economic crisis and Asia-Pacific
Reducing exposure to capital flows can help the region shield itself against volatility in global markets
Nagesh Kumar /  August 25, 2011, 0:03 IST

Seeking deeper Asia-Pacific ties
The region has considerable potential for meaningful economic integration
Nagesh Kumar / New Delhi July 28, 2011, 0:10 IST

The food and fuel crisis: Can G20 help?

G20 needs to leverage its clout to play a more proactive role in stabilising food and fuel prices
Nagesh Kumar / New Delhi May 26, 2011, 0:24 IST


Home remedies for CAD
Domestic market, local innovations and retail can be leveraged to curb current account deficit
Nagesh Kumar /  March 29, 2011, 0:38 IST
Pointers for growth in Asia-Pacific

Nagesh Kumar / Feb 23, 2011, 00:55
The Asia-Pacific region recovered impressively from the depths of the global financial crisis of 2008-09, with China and India leading the recovery. The developing economies of the region grew at 8.3 per cent in 2010 compared to 4.6 per cent in the previous year.
Emerging regional architecture in Asia

Nagesh Kumar / New Delhi Sep 06, 2008, 04:47
With a combined population of nearly half a billion and GDP of over a trillion dollars, ASEAN countries provide a large market for Indian companies...
2. In Financial Express, New Delhi during 2004-07.