Considering the limited infrastructure routes, high rate of wear and tear, and the need for various input materials, per-mile Brazilian infrastructure costs are typically quadruple those of a flat, arable, temperate territory — with additional premium for the roads that must pierce the Escarpment.
That is from Peter Zeihan’s quite interesting Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in a Disunited World. The Escarpment, by the way, refers to the cliffs that run along Brazil’s coastal zones and have kept Brazil so long from integrating their cities and building a truly stable nation-state. The lack of navigable rivers throughout most of the country does not help either — North America was blessed in this regard.
Here is Zeihan’s take on Rio:
…its decline will be emblematic of several of the country’s coastal cities. It’s too far from the Northern Hemisphere to be involved in manufacturing supply chains, too isolated to serve as entrepot or processing center, and too densely populated to be safe.
Zeihan likes to solve for the equilibrium.