South Asia: Regional Integration and Greater Economic Freedom Will Boost Growth and Prosperity

Countries with higher levels of economic freedom outperform others in reducing poverty, achieving greater prosperity, and ensuring broader progress in many dimensions of social and human development. As the Index of Economic Freedom has chronicled time and again, nations whose governments pursue policies that enhance economic freedom are able to capitalize more fully on the ability of the free-market system not only to generate, but also to reinforce dynamic growth through efficient resource allocation and innovation.

Although South Asian countries have enjoyed improved growth prospects recently thanks to the windfall resulting from lower oil prices, in order to sustain growth over the longer term, their governments must address the fundamental structural problems, regulatory inefficiencies, and endemic corruption that have blocked greater economic freedom. If they do correct these problems, they will foster a better life for their citizens and a more peaceful and prosperous world.

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