The key asset of South Asia is its people. “South Asia has a young population and the lowest female participation rate in the labor force. The demographic dividend will result in more workers entering the labor force in the future,” said Cardoso. Hence, the region must exploit the unparalleled advantage of demographic dividend that could structurally transform South Asia economically and socially. The structural transformation – the shift of capital and labor away from low-productivity (traditional agriculture) and into high-productive sectors (modern agriculture, manufacturing, and services) – is needed to accelerate growth and create jobs. Labor supply growth is 2.3% per annum in South Asia, above the global average of 1.8%. The increased labor force can contribute to additional growth.
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