Juiz de Fora is a city in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, located close to the state border with Rio de Janeiro. The geographical area of the municipality is 1,437 square kilometer. The city's location was determinant for its economic and demographic development, for it is placed between the three most important financial and economic metropolises of southeast Brazil Rio de Janeiro (189 km), Belo Horizonte (260 km) and Sao Paulo (486 km). Major highways connect Juiz de Fora with these three metropolitan areas, the most important -and crucial for the city's recent growth- being the BR 040, which connects Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Running throughout the city, the Paraibuna river is a major tributary of the Paraiba do Sul river, in which basin lies the core of Brazilian heavy and high-technology industries.