Brazil's poverty rate remains high, despite a rapidly growing middle class, and outside the big cities, its infrastructure is still lacking. Nevertheless, it's becoming harder and harder to classify the country as developing, given that in some areas—especially financial ones—it outpaces developed nations.

As with any developing country, risks remain. David Backus, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, says that unlike neighboring countries, however, Brazil's political system has remained stable.

"What's reassuring about Brazil is that it's had three elections in a row without any major [policy] changes," Backus says, adding that Argentina's GDP per capital remains higher than Brazil's but its political system is "extremely immature."

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