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8. Brazil

2010 GDP: $2.1 trillion
2010 FDI: $48.4 billion

Brazil is the world’s eighth largest economy, and its GDP growth in 2010 was 7.5 percent, making it attractive for foreign investment. While this economic giant provides a huge opportunity there are also several major hurdles to doing business here.

Brazil has one of the highest tax burdens of any major economy, at around 37 percent of GDP. Firms spend about 2,600 hours a year, equivalent to three and half months, filling tax forms in Brazil. Firms are charged a total tax rate of more than 67 percent, according to the World Bank, which is 20 percent higher than the average for the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Another big issue facing businesses in Brazil is getting construction permits. Companies spend nearly 470 days completing 17 procedures to obtain a permit, which is over triple the time it takes on average in OECD countries.

Brazil is set to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. But construction of stadiums and airport terminals for the events has been delayed amid accusations of government corruption. The country’s Sports Minister Orlando Silva is under growing pressure to resign after more evidence emerged last month that he allegedly got $23 million in kickbacks for government contracts, for himself and the ruling communist party.

Photo: Getty Images