France’s Hollande to visit Brazil to seek closer ties

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French Minister for Women's Rights and Government Spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (L) and French President Francois Hollande walk at the Elysee presidential palace after the weekly cabinet meeting on December 11, 2013 in ParisFrench President Francois Hollande will on Thursday seek to boost ties with Brazil at the start of a two-day state visit to Latin America's dominant economic power. France is the fifth biggest investor in Brazil, the world's seventh largest economy, where around 600 French companies have set up shop and bilateral trade totals $8.8 billion. Hollande's visit, with scheduled stops in Brasilia and Sao Paulo, the country's economic capital, comes exactly a year after his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff visited Paris. France's nuclear energy giant Areva is meanwhile to ink a contract worth more than $1.37 billion to build a third reactor at Brazil's Angra nuclear power plant in Rio de Janeiro state.