South Asia: Unlocking Business Opportunities Through Economic Reforms

While most of the six nations constituting South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) have not been under much spotlight for technological and business competitiveness, local business environments have seen a consistent change in the past few years. While South Asia is the only region not represented in the top 50 ranking for ease of doing business (Doing Business 2018 by the World Bank Group), one nation – India – stands out this year as one of the 10 economies that improved the most in the areas measured by the annual ranking.

An important hallmark of the region is a wide disparity in opportunities depending on the country: there are considerable variations in performance between economies within the same region and even within the same regulatory area. Within South Asia, India has the highest score for protecting minority investors, scoring eight times over Afghanistan’s mark.

Although certain countries lag significantly within the region in comparison to other local economies, South Asia is one of the regions with the highest share o ...

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