RECIFE, Brazil (Reuters) - Eduardo Campos, a popular Brazilian governor, has touted his mix of leftist and pro-business policies in the poor but booming northeastern state of Pernambuco as he prepares a presidential run in next October's election.
Campos recently spoke to Reuters in his office, and outlined his position on several key issues:
Campos criticized President Dilma Rousseff for her management of Brazil's fiscal accounts. Many economists have said Rousseff's government used murky accounting measures to formally meet the main budget goal in 2012.
Campos said an ideal level for the primary budget surplus, which excludes debt interest payments, would be 2.4 percent of gross domestic product.
That's lower than the 3.1 percent level that Brazil has pursued in recent years, but Campos said the key is to have a realistic goal "without artificial measures."
Trade accounts for a smaller percentage of Brazil's economy than any other major economy in the Americas, and Campos says that has to change. "The entire world is making bilateral trade deals except for Brazil."
Brazil has been largely blocked from making such deals because of its membership in the Mercosur trade bloc, which includes Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay. The bloc's rules say member countries must negotiate as a group. Campos stopped short of calling for those rules to be changed, but said they must be "urgently reviewed."
Campos said Brazil has become too dependent on the BNDES, the state development bank that accounts for most long-term financing in Latin America's biggest economy.
"It's necessary to create mechanisms that would liberate private banks ... so they can participate in such credit lines, while still respecting Basel rules," Campos said, without providing further details.
Campos was critical of Rousseff's policy of conceding tax breaks on a sector-by-sector basis, saying it creates winners and losers within the economy.
(Reporting by Jeferson Ribeiro; Editing by Kieran Murray and Paul Simao)