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Bucking stagnation elsewhere, the quiet rise of South Asia


  • South Asia has long been seen as an economic laggard, but that could start changing.
  • South Asia could sustain a growth rate of over 5% for the next few years, which would make it one of the fastest-growing regions in the emerging world.
  • The inflow of foreign direct investment is helping to keep South Asia in what can be identified as the investment sweet spot.
  • While falling prices for oil and other raw materials are hurting most emerging regions, they are a boon to the nations of South Asia, all of which are commodity importers.


  • At a time when growth is falling sharply in most other emerging nations, South Asia has proved relatively resilient.
  • Together, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are now growing at an average annual pace of close to 6%, compared to 2% for the emerging world outside China.
  • But that spread of nearly four percentage points is the largest in the region’s post-independence history.
  • Since the global financial crisis, a number of emerging markets have been ramping up debt and government spending.
  • But the smaller South Asian economies have largely avoided these excesses, so they still have room to boost growth.



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