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Brazil’s Own Goals

Brazil may be in the international spotlight – hosting the World Cup this month and the 2016 Summer Olympics – but it maintains considerable barriers to the global economy. In a world that is constantly becoming more interconnected, Brazil risks being left behind.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Ready or not, Brazil is rolling out the welcome mat for sports fans from around the world. As soon as the clock winds down on the final FIFA World Cup soccer match in July, the country will resume preparations to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

But, even as Brazil steps into the international spotlight, it maintains considerable barriers to the global economy, damaging its prospects for future growth and prosperity. In a world that is constantly becoming more interconnected, Brazil risks being left behind.

Brazil has risen to become the world’s seventh-largest economy, propelled by a commodities boom, a demographic dividend, and rising consumption. Yet it ranks 95th in per capita GDP. This disparity can be at least partly explained by its 43rd-place ranking for “connectedness” in terms of flows of goods, services, finance, people, and data and communications.

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