Peru's Garcia promises 6 pct growth if elected to third term
By Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino
LIMA Oct 31 (Reuters) - Peru's former president Alan Garcia kicked off his campaign for a third term with a promise to deliver economic growth of at least 6 percent per year through more public works and mining investments.
Garcia, a towering figure known as a one of the Spanish-speaking world's best orators, told his supporters in a sports stadium it would be easy to achieve such high growth rates, even as a commodities slump has knocked Peru's key mineral exports and dragged on growth during President Ollanta Humala's administration.
The economy slowed sharply to 2.34 percent growth in 2014 - less than half the rate in previous years - but it is on track to recover slightly this year.
Garcia, who is trailing third in polls, said he would slash red tape, build 200,000 public works with the help of local governments and encourage mining investments if he won a new term in elections scheduled for April next year.
"It'd be enough to repeal everything that this government has signed to put Peru back on track!" Garcia said in a rousing speech late on Friday that emphasized hope and a return to better days. "We're going to give the people back the happiness they deserve".
Supporters waved Peruvian flags and danced to the cumbia beat of his campaign jingle, which repeated a chorus of "Alan, Peru!"
Garcia last governed Peru in 2006-2011, when mineral prices soared and Peru's annual economic growth rate reached 9 percent.
Peru is the world's third biggest copper, silver, zinc and tin producer and seventh-ranked in gold. Mining makes up about 60 percent of its export earnings. Continuación...