Brazil: Globalization Laggard
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2nd December 2014

The Latin American giant ranked last in our annual listing of the region’s most globalized economies
By Mark Keller
It’s bad news for Brazil in Latin Trade’s latest Globalization Index: of the 18 Latin American economies measured by the index, the country comes in last place. In fact, the country ranks poorly in almost all of the six categories our index takes account of, placing last in value of exports as a percentage of GDP, value of imports as a percentage of GDP, tourism receipts as a percentage of GDP, and remittances as a percentage of GDP. In only two of our sub-indices – foreign direct investment as a percentage of GDP, and internet penetration – does the country fare better, however it does not rank among the five best or worst in either.
This poor performance is evident in the country’s gloomy economic statistics. Growth since 2010 has averaged just 1.6% a year, and economists predict 2014 will see the economy expand just a meager 0.19%. Inflation, while still far below some of its neighbors, has run at 6.75% – above the targeted rate of 4.5%. The country has hampered economic growth – particularly in growing exports and value chains – by underinvesting in infrastructure – currently just 2.45% of GDP, compared with the 5% suggest by the Inter-American Development Bank, and far below emerging market standards. Little wonder, then, that the country performs so poorly in our index.
But after a competitive election in October – which saw the incumbent …

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