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Weicheng Lian, Fei Liu, Katsiaryna Svirydzenka, and Biying Zhu
While South Asia has gone a long way in diversifying their economies, there is substantial scope to do more. Some countries – India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka – can build on their existing production capabilities; others – Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives – would need to undertake a more concerted push. We identify key policies from a large set of potential determinants that explain the variation in export diversification and complexity across 189 countries from 1962 to 2018. Our analysis suggests that South Asia needs to invest in infrastructure, education, and R&D, facilitate bank credit to productive companies, and open to trade in order to diversify and move up the value chains. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, investing in digital technologies as part of the infrastructure push and improving education are of even greater importance to facilitate the ability to work remotely and assist resource reallocation away from the less viable sectors.
Ernest Stern

between East and South Asia. Both regions, for example, display widely differing growth rates among their respective countries—more so in East than in South Asia ( Chart 3 ). In East Asia, the attack on poverty has been very effective—demonstrating again that rapid growth and poverty alleviation are not contradictory—indeed, they are mutually reinforcing ( Chart 4 ). In South Asia, progress in reducing poverty has been much less impressive. In 1990, about half of the region’s population was still below the poverty line. Chart 3 . A wide spectrum of growth In the

Ms. Ana Corbacho and Mr. Hamid R Davoodi
This paper analyzes Central America's track record on inequality, poverty, and quality of fiscal adjustment in relation to economic growth; health and education outcomes; adequacy of social safety nets; and governance. It then assesses the degree to which the track record can be traced to reforms in public expenditure and governance. Despite the considerable heterogeneity among the countries in the region, there are some policies that all countries need to pursue. Sustained growth and a better quality of fiscal adjustment are needed, as well as policies aimed at increasing individuals' productivity and improving governance.
Ms. Ana Corbacho and Mr. Hamid R Davoodi

-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Progress was slow during the 1960s; it accelerated in the 1970s and 1980s, and continued at a moderate pace during the 1990s. The average number of years of education in the adult population doubled, from 2.5 years in the 1960s to 5 years in 2000, and the percentage of population with no formal schooling decreased from nearly 50 percent in the 1960s to around 27 percent in 2000 ( Table 4 ). Table 4. Educational Attainment in Central America and Other Regions No Schooling Highest Level Attained Average Years of Schooling

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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