South Asia fastest growing region: WB report

WB predicts 5% growth in 2017 and 5.4% in 2018

ISLAMABAD, Oct 4 (APP): South Asia has defied a sluggish world economy and solidified its lead as the fastest growing region in the world in 2016, a new World Bank report said.

According to the twice-a-year, South Asia Economic Focus, the region remains a global growth hotspot and has proven resilient to external headwinds.

However, according to the report, the main challenges remain domestic, and include policy uncertainty as well as fiscal and financial vulnerabilities.

“A reality check reveals that private investment-a key future growth driver across South Asia-is yet to be ignited to sustain and further increase economic growth, said Annette Dixon, World Bank South Asia Region’s Vice President.

“Countries will need to activate the full potential of private investment and exports to accelerate economic activity further, reduce poverty and boost prosperity,” Dixon added.

A reality check on the state of private investment in South Asia shows that the region has fallen short of expectations.

Mobilizing domestic savings remains key at the aggregate level.

However, remittances and foreign direct investment prove very effective on a per-dollar basis, and the region should make the most of them.