Asia-Pacific Development Journal

The Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) is published twice a year by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The primary objective of the APDJ is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region and aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation. The APDJ provides a scholarly means for bringing together research work by eminent social scientists and development practitioners from the region and beyond for use by a variety of stakeholders. The Journal aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation in the region.


Dynamics of structural transformation in South Asia

This paper contains an analysis of the pattern of growth and the structure of employment in various sectors of six South Asian economies (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka); the trends in the technological capabilities of these countries are also examined, by characterizing the structure of their exports. It shows that although the level of sophistication is lower compared with East Asian economies, the distribution of exports in South Asian countries has shifted towards products that have a higher productivity index and are located “centrally” in product space, enabling production of several nearby goods. In terms of the summary measure of the proximity of the export basket to all currently unexploited products, highvalue ones in particular, the potential for future export sophistication is seen to be the highest for India among the South Asian countries and lowest for Bhutan followed by Bangladesh. Going by the East Asian experience, the South Asian governments have an important role to play in transforming their industrial structures.


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