French President Francois Hollande has begun a one-day state visit to Romania that both sides hope will boost trade and consolidate bilateral relations between the traditional allies.

Hollande laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier early Tuesday at the start of his visit, the first state visit by a French president since Francois Mitterrand came to Romania in 1991, less than two years after communism collapsed.

Hollande will later inaugurate the Airbus Romania factory in central Romania, which will produce H215 military and civil helicopters, starting next year. It will become fully operational by 2020, manufacturing 15 helicopters a year and creating 350 jobs, company officials said.

The French leader is accompanied by 30 business chiefs.