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Hit by Indian slowdown, S Asia nations must work hard on reforms: WB

October 10
03:30 2013

wbWASHINGTON: Noting that India’s slowdown has significant spillover effects on the rest of South Asia, the World Bank has said South Asian countries need to work hard on reforms.

Observing that the turmoil in global capital should come as a wake-up call for South Asia, which was the second-fastest growing region in the world in the aftermath of the global crisis, the World Bank Wednesday said its recent performance has been less stellar, and it has been sustained by potentially volatile portfolio inflows.

Projecting that economic growth in South Asia will be modest this year and in 2014, the South Asia Economic Focus report of the World Bank said at such a pace, the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 will not be attained.

Governments must work harder on reforms to raise growth in a region where most of the world’s poor live, the World Bank said in its reports released on the sidelines of the annual plenary meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“South Asia must return to the growth rates achieved before the global financial crisis of at least eight percent a year so that it can significantly reduce poverty,” said Philippe Le Hou-rou, World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region.

“South Asia is critical to the World Bank Group goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity by 2030 and we will work with governments in the region to overcome barriers to growth and provide greater opportunity for all,” he said.

Recent global capital rebalancing, driven by fears of unwinding of easy monetary policy in the US, has highlighted structural weakness and vulnerability in South Asia. -PTI

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