WASHINGTON - Partnership talks between Boeing and Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer are making progress but there is "still work to do," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Thursday.
Boeing is pursuing a deal with Embraer which would give the American aerospace giant access to the Brazilian company's line of smaller jets -- helping it compete with Canada's Bombardier, which has a partnership with Boeing European rival Airbus.
The Boeing-Embraer link, however, has faced opposition from the Brazilian government, which must approve any deal.
"We're respectful of the concerns the Brazilian government has raised around sovereignty and their national defense," Muilenburg told CNBC.
"We believe we've structured a deal concept that will satisfy the needs of everybody involved. So we're making progress."
He once again touted the benefits of the merger.
"We've got complementary product lines, complementary services," he said. "Embraer has vertical capabilities that fit with our strategy going forward."
The deal would to form a join unit to produce Embraer commercial jets, while allowing the Brazilian government to have a decision-making role, person with knowledge of the matter told AFP earlier this month.
But Embraer's defense aviation business would remain under Brazilian control, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Privatized in 1994, Embraer is the world's third-largest aircraft maker, with annual revenues of $6 billion, and 16,000 employees as well as commercial, defense and business jet product lines, making it a prized industrial player in Brazil.
© Agence France-Presse