Brazil, France add tech focus to their partnership

Brasilia, Dec 12 (EFE).- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and France's Fran├žois Hollande decided here Thursday that their two nations will engage in closer bilateral cooperation in high technology and cyberdefense, key areas for the development of the "protection of sovereignty."

One of the central pillars of Hollande's talks with Rousseff at the start of his two-day visit to the South American nation was the need to strengthen technology cooperation to augment the "strategic alliance" the two nations established in 2006.

Along those lines, he emphasized the accords signed Thursday for the joint development of a geostationary satellite, greater cooperation in the area of nuclear energy and a Brazilian program to build a super-computer.

But the French president also called technological cooperation a need the two countries have to protect themselves from the "threats" that may lurk in the Internet.

"We support every effort for digital globalization, That is necessary both for the sovereignty of our nations and for individual privacy," he said.

"Cybernetic defense is even more necessary after the revelation of certain information," Holland said alluding to the activities of U.S. espionage revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Rousseff has been the victim personally of that espionage and is pushing for the United Nations to adopt global measures to guarantee the privacy of Internet users around the world.

She has called a global conference for next April in Sao Paulo with an eye toward debating that matter among heads of state, businessmen, academia and social movements.

"We will participate in that conference," Hollande declared.

Rousseff said the development of joint high technology projects will also enable a new push to be given to business between the two nations, whose trade balance reached some $10 billion in 2012.