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Brasilia receives Boeing representatives for Embraer talks

© AFP/File | A meeting between Brazilian Defense Minister Raul Jungmann and Boeing representatives was the "first official contact" between the company and the government since Embraer and the US aerospace giant announced merger talks in December

BRASÍLIA (AFP) - 

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann held talks in Brasilia with Boeing representatives to discuss partnerships with Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer, the government said in a statement.

The meeting, which included four Boeing executives and representatives of Brazil's Air Force, took place Friday afternoon, according to a statement from the Defense Ministry.

It was the "first official contact" between Boeing and a member of the Brazilian government since Embraer and the US aerospace giant announced in December that merger talks were underway, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.

Jungmann supports a Boeing-Embraer partnership, "but considers that shareholder control of the Brazilian company is a matter of national sovereignty and will not enter the negotiations," the ministry statement read.

The Brazilian government holds a so-called golden share with veto power in the privatized Embraer, the world's third biggest airplane builder.

According to the Folha de Sao Paulo, the Americans came out of the meeting "with a list of questions about the sensitive aspects of the negotiation," particularly concerning the Embraer military program.

A merger would respond to an alliance between Boeing archrival Airbus and Canada's Bombardier to build smaller planes.

However the political sensitivity over Embraer's ownership and opposition from the local trade union means that Boeing is more likely to seek something less than a full takeover, such as a joint venture.

In late December President Michel Temer said he welcomes "an injection of foreign capital" into the company as well as a "partnership agreement," but emphasized that "we are not considering is the question of transferring."

Embraer was formed by the Brazilian government in 1969 and privatized in 1994 in a process that granted Brasilia "golden shares" with some veto rights.

© 2018 AFP