PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has met former Brazilian president Luiz Lula da Silva, popularly known as Lula, in Sao Paulo.
Lula, who is considered one of Brazil's most popular politicians and who served for two terms as president, has just recovered from throat cancer and has announced his intention to return to politics.
President Higgins presented Mr Lula, an avid soccer fan, with an Irish jersey and some Galway crystal.
Later this evening the president will address an Irish Studies event at the University of Sao Paulo.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello is leading a trade mission to Brazil along with representatives of Enterprise Ireland and 42 of its client companies.
This includes officially opening a food ingredients plant outside Sao Paulo.
Synergy will supply food flavourings to Brazil's food and drinks sector.
The company is a subsidiary of the Carbery Group in Cork.