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Sri Lanka moves into Middle Income Status - WB

The emerging economic development in South Asia is propelling Sri Lanka into the Middle Income Status, states the World Bank Annual Report for 2008.

Other South Asian countries similarly moving up are India, Bhutan and Maldives.

This progress is a result of the rapid economic growth, declining poverty and progress in human development in these countries for more than a decade.

The World Bank report states: "South Asia has experienced rapid economic growth, declining poverty and progress in human development for more than a decade. As a result, for the first time in its history, the region with the world's largest concentration of poor people has a real chance of ending mass poverty in a generation.

Thanks to the economic reforms of the past two decades, annual GDP growth in the region has averaged six per cent since 2000. This growth has translated into a significant drop in poverty rates across the subcontinent.

In the next decade, South Asia is expected to contribute more to global poverty reduction than any other region. If it can accelerate growth to 8-10 percent a year and sustain it, it can reduce income poverty to the single digits.

The Bank's program also reflects an emerging new reality. South Asia can no longer be characterized as a uniformly low-income region. Growth is propelling in India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka into middle income status".

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