Hollande touts French technology in Brazil
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French President François Hollande touted France's technical know-how on a visit to Brazil, the emerging economic giant with which he hopes to double trade in the next few years. After meeting his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff Thursday in Brasilia, he went to Sao Paulo on Friday to meet the local French community and state governor Geraldo Alckmin.
What sets France apart from Brazil's other foreign partners is its "willingness to share technology" through 600 French companies on Brazilian soil, as well as academic and scientific cooperation, he said on Friday.
"In all fields we are committed to sharing our experiences," he declared after meeting Roussef.
France is the fifth biggest investor in Brazil and trade, which Hollande said had doubled over the last 10 years, is worth over six billion euros.
Despite the economic crisis, the two presidents agreed to try and double trade between their countries.
"We have identified sectors for cooperation, including energy, food, transport, health, as well as tourism," Hollande said on Thursday. "In these areas we will work to build technological partnerships so we can be stronger together.
"The framework to this partnership has been established with the Franco-Brazilian Economic Forum which has met in Brasilia and will meet again in Sao Paulo. This forum will be where we can exchange ideas that will then be adapted to the real economy."
Brazil has been angered by reports of US electronic spying on government communications, as well as phone call data and emails of millions of Brazilians and Rousseff thanked France for supporting the joint Brazilian-German United Nations initiative to strengthen internet privacy and governance .
"We are very much interested in a partnership with France in all aspects of cyberdefense," she said.
Several contracts and accords were signed, including the supply of a 400-million-euro civilian-military telecoms satellite by French-Italian firm Thales Alenia Space, which had already been announced.
Rousseff highlighted French energy giant Total's participation in exploring the huge ultra-deepwater Libra oil field off south-east Brazil.
Hollande cited France's nuclear energy company Areva's 995-million-euro contract to build a third reactor at the Angra nuclear power plant in Rio de Janeiro state.
Brazil wants to buy 36 fighter jets but there was no decision on France's bid to sell its Rafale, which has also run into problems in India.
On Friday Hollande was to go to economically important Sao Paulo state and then to French Guiana.