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South Asian countries had made little progress last year to improve their investment climate there by missing out on growth opportunities, according to a recent World Bank study. South Asian countries had made little progress last year to improve their investment climate there by missing out on growth opportunities, according to a recent World Bank study. The report also shows that Sri Lanka has lagged behind, even by the mediocre South Asian standards.

The World Bank says poor countries that desperately need new enterprises and jobs will fall further behind rich ones unless simple reforms are not done.

Bureaucrats and the private sector in Sri Lanka have been trying to reduce the regulatory burden on business to attract more investment and make existing businesses competitive.

But a report published by the World Bank and its private sector funding arm, the International Finance Corporation, says little progress has been made last year in developing countries and the South Asian region in particular.

The report looked at reforms in areas like the ease of setting up a business, hiring and firing workers, obtaining credit and registering property.

World Bank says that