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Namibian Budget Deficit to Narrow to 4.4% of GDP Next Year

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Namibia’s budget deficit will probably narrow to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product in the 2012-13 fiscal year as the government tightens control over spending, Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.

The gap will fall from 11.2 percent in the current year through March, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in a budget speech today in the capital, Windhoek.

The southern African nation’s economy is forecast to expand 4.4 percent this year after growing 4.2 percent in 2011, with a slowdown in neighboring South Africa and lower mining output the main risks to growth, she said.

Namibia is the world’s biggest miner of offshore diamonds, most of which are mined by Namdeb, a joint venture between the government and De Beers, the world’s No. 1 diamond company. It is also the world’s fourth-largest producer of uranium.

The government plans to introduce a levy on exports of natural resources this year to help the country gain more from its mineral wealth, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said, without giving details.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chamwe Kaira in Windhoek at ckaira@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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