Sri Lanka’s growth to be lowest among key South Asian nations

Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to grow 4.6 percent this year, but the growth is said to be low compared to other key South Asian countries, a latest World Bank forecast, quoted by a local media report said here Wednesday.

The estimated 4.6 percent growth for this year is only higher than that of Afghanistan with others’ growth ranging from a region wide highest of 7.2 percent by Bangladesh and 7 percent by India and Pakistan’s 5.3 percent.

Next year Sri Lanka’s growth is estimated at 5 percent, slightly above Maldives and Nepal but lower in comparison to 7.3 percent by India, 6.4 percent by Bangladesh and 5.5 percent by Pakistan.

The forecast for 2019 for Sri Lanka is 5.1 percent but there is much higher growth for India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In releasing the latest forecast via the twice-a-year South Asian Economic Focus, the World Bank said the region has lost the growth lead but can regain it through action. South Asian countries should address growth constraints with policies and reforms, it added.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday, in its forecast said Sri Lanka’s economy would grow 4.7 percent in 2017 and 4.8 percent in 2018 despite the Central Bank adjusting growth to be below 4.5 percent this year on prolonged natural disasters and lagging reforms.

The Sri Lankan government recently said it hopes to attract mega investments into the island country to strengthen its economic growth and boost investor confidence. Sri Lanka’s largest business organization, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said last month that the recently signed Hambantota Port deal between Sri Lanka and China would generate meaningful foreign direct investments (FDIs) in port related activities and bring in economic benefits arising from a growth in industrial activity. (

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