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Egypt's Morsi to visit Brazil on May 7

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt will visit Brazil on May 7 for a two-day visit focused on the economy, his spokesman Ehab Fahmy said on Wednesday.

Morsi, who won elections last June promising to address the battered economy, has already visited the four other member states of the BRICS group -- Russia, India, China and South Africa -- which he hopes Egypt can join.

His visit to Brazil aims at strengthening "commercial, economic and industrial cooperation and to attract more Brazilian investments," Fahmy said, cited by the official MENA news agency.

Morsi last week visited Russia, a major wheat supplier, and reached tentative understandings on economic cooperation, an Egyptian spokesman has said.

Egypt's president had also requested a "big loan", said Yuri Ushakov, a Russian presidential aide, the Interfax news agency reported.

Cairo's foreign reserves have dropped by more than half to $13.5 billion since an uprising toppled president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, bringing in a period of increased lawlessness and political uncertainty.

Egypt has received several billion dollars in support from a number of countries, mostly Arab Gulf states, but is pinning its hopes on a $4.8-billion IMF loan it believes could grant much needed credibility among investors.

But the loan, which had been scheduled for last winter, was delayed when the Islamist Morsi faced a wave of political unrest, forcing him to defer economic reforms such as a tax increase that could have sparked further unrest.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130424/egypts-morsi-visit-brazil-may-7