Brazil has not only displaced Britain as the sixth biggest economy in the world but it has also become the most popular destination for professional Brits volunteering abroad.
"Brazil, unlike China, is a democracy which is much more attractive to investors and volunteers alike,” said Dr Peter Slowe - managing director of the world’s largest volunteering organisation, UK-based Projects Abroad.
Emerging countries have always been popular amongst British professionals volunteering abroad because their skills can prove invaluable in the development of local economies but they also have the opportunity to learn from a rapidly changing environment.
"Brazil is politically stable and unlikely to undergo prolonged civil unrest which is likely to occur at some time in China,” said Dr Slowe.
Brazil deposed Britain as the world’s sixth largest economy in the annual world economic league table published by the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
Brazil – the largest country in South American – owes its growth to vast reserves of natural resources.
"The punching power of Brazil as a whole has overtaken Britain because of the huge economic potential of people who live there,” said Dr Slowe - who was a former economic policy advisor to Tony Blair and sits on Labour’s Finance and Industry Group.
"Brazil has a variety of natural resources to rely on including gold and silver as well as oil off-shore and minerals in the Amazon.”
"By contrast the UK economy is affected by the problems of the eurozone,” he said.
However, in many areas Brazil is still an emerging nation and the majority of the population has a standard of living way behind what is enjoyed in Britain. Brazil struggled to develop under a variety of dictatorships throughout most of the last century and only became a truly democratic state in the mid-eighties.
"The country has huge potential but the vast majority of their resources are in Amazon basin,” said Dr Slowe.
"The cost of exploiting this mineral wealth is the loss of the habitat and the traditions of indigenous tribes who have lived the same way since the Stone Age.”
"Many of our professional volunteers specifically devote their attention to managing Brazil’s development ecologically,” he said.
According to the annual world economic league table the five biggest economies in the world are U.S., China, Japan, Germany and France.
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