Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / South Asia needs more exports for growth: World Bank

South Asia needs more exports for growth: World Bank

Apr '19
South Asia needs more exports for growth: World Bank
South Asia holds on to its top spot as the world’s fastest growing region, with growth set to step up to 7 per cent in 2019, and 7.1 per cent in 2020 and 2021, but the region needs to increase its exports to sustain its high growth and reach its full economic potential, says the World Bank in its regional economic update release twice every year.

The latest edition of the South Asia Economic Focus, Exports Wanted, finds that the region’s growth, while still robust, is mainly driven by domestic demand, which in turn swelled imports and far outstripped exports, further widening trade gaps and current account deficits, and triggering currency depreciation in some countries.

“South Asia’s exports performance has dropped in the last few years to languish at far below its potential and while growth still looks robust we are concerned about whether this can hold up over the longer term,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank vice president for the South Asia Region.

“To ensure growth in the long run, the region needs to integrate further into international markets to sustain its upward growth trajectory, create more jobs, and boost prosperity for its people,” a World Bank press release quoted Schafer as saying.

Across South Asia, imports grew much stronger than exports in the last two years, reversing the region’s exports dynamics of the early 2000s.

Strong domestic demand, fueled by a consumption and investment boom, resulted in high import growth of 14.9 per cent in 2017 and 15.6 per cent in 2018, which is nearly twice as high as the region’s export growth. In comparison, exports grew by only 4.6 per cent in 2017 and 9.7 per cent in 2018.

“There’s no single solution that can unleash South Asia’s export potential and policymakers need to implement an ambitious range of reforms that can turn the region into the world’s next export powerhouse,” said Hans Timmer, the bank’s chief economist for the South Asia Region.

The report offers a positive outlook based on recent months as export growth is picking up from its low levels, even outpacing imports growth in the third and fourth quarter of 2018.

This recent acceleration of export growth, combined with a slowdown in import growth, is expected to continue in 2019 and beyond, with both rates eventually converging at an average 11 percent growth rate, it says.

But despite this recent progress, South Asian countries still export only one-third of their potential, and the gap is widening.

The report estimates that the region’s export gap widened over time, standing at over 20 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, as South Asia did not fully take advantage of a favourable international global trade environment and remained on the margins of global value chains. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

Must ReadView All

Seed cotton production continues to be low in Malawi

Textiles | On 24th Apr 2019

Seed cotton production continues to be low in Malawi

Malawi has failed to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of seed cotton...

Pic: ITMF - IPCC 2018

Textiles | On 24th Apr 2019

ITMF publishes global textile production cost comparison

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) has...

Pic: H&M

E-commerce | On 24th Apr 2019

H&M brings product transparency to scale

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB has become the first major fashion retailer...

Interviews View All

Top executives, Textile industry

Top executives
Textile industry

Technical textiles industry moving back to Europe

Representatives, Textile & apparel industry

Textile & apparel industry

GST is a complicated and lengthy process

Veronique Lee, Modavanti

Veronique Lee

‘Sustainable fashion is trending upwards, slowly but surely, as people...

Ravindra Jain, Ashish Baid,

Ravindra Jain, Ashish Baid

Oswal Prints Private Limited has been manufacturing and exporting ethnic...

Rajat Jaipuria,

Rajat Jaipuria

Activewear brand Soul Space promotes organic cotton farming and...

Harmeet Singh,

Harmeet Singh

New Delhi-based Jogindra Industries Private Limited provides an assortment ...

Ashok Desai, Bombay Textile Research Association

Ashok Desai
Bombay Textile Research Association

Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) is a leading name in textile...

Justin Gutierrez, INDA

Justin Gutierrez

The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) has created a new...

Wolfgang Plasser, Lenzing AG

Wolfgang Plasser
Lenzing AG

The Lenzing Group is an international company headquartered in Austria...

Silvia Venturini Fendi, Fendi s.r.l

Silvia Venturini Fendi
Fendi s.r.l

"Yes, my confidence and positive attitude are my strengths and should be...

Adriano Goldschmied, AG Jeans

Adriano Goldschmied
AG Jeans

The hype around 'designer jeans' was created by him. And the new wave of...

Hemant & Nandita, Hemant & Nandita

Hemant & Nandita
Hemant & Nandita

The designer duo of Hemant & Nandita are known for being inspired by...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


Leave your Comments

April 2019

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category

Related Categories:

Advanced Search