Colombo—The World Bank has named South Asia as the world’s fastest growing economic region in 2016, yet the countries in the region are not benefiting from the regional boom, says a report published by Asia Foundation, Colombo.
The report titled: “South Asian Regionalism: What hopes after SAARC meltdown?”. Today less than 5 per cent of South Asia’s trade occurs within the region, which remains the least integrated in the world. In comparison; intra-regional trade in ASEAN is around 30 per cent, the EU around 60 per cent and Continental Africa around 12 per cent. This stands as a regional loss ready to cut short South Asia’s rare moment at the top rung of the growth ladder”, says the report.
According to a new World Bank report, South Asia has solidified its rank as the world’s fastest growing economic region in 2016 and is expected to hold this position in 2017. With growth in the offing a young population of 1.6 billion people and a burgeoning consuming class, every global producer is eager to trade with South Asia now and subsequently the region’s imports have grown at an impressive rate of 7.2 per cent in 2016. South Asian exporters however, are not benefiting from this regional boom, others are, it says. The Indo-Pakistan relations have worsened after the Uri attack in September 2016, it looks like.