French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in Brazil in the hope of winning a lucrative defence contract to sell a French fighter jet.
Brazilian president Luiz Inaciao Lula da Silva was on hand to welcome his counterpart before both left for a working dinner.
During the short visit Sarkozy is expected to attend Brazil’s Independence day celebrations on Monday -a first for a Western leader.
However, trade tops the agenda with French defence contractor Dassault Aviation bidding to build 36 of its Rafale fighter planes for Brazil’s air force.
Dassault has yet to find a foreign buyer for the Rafale, which is one of three planes in the running.
US air-maker Boeing and Swedish manufacturer Saab are also in competition as Brazil looks to modernise its air force.