Botswana's Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said Monday that the country was able to contain the effects of global recession.Presenting the 2014 national budget in Parliament, Matambo said the southern African country has been cushioned from the impact of the global economic meltdown by its foreign reserves and borrowings. “Botswana was able to contain the effects of the global recession well, largely because we were able to drawdown on our accumulated government balances and borrowed domestic and international markets using our good credit rating system,” Matambo said during the presentation broadcast live. However, the minister revealed that Botswana ran significant deficits for the first three years since the crisis. “Going forward, the government intends to run moderate surpluses, which should enable us to restore those balances and repay accumulated debts,” said Matambo. He added that the government's strategic plan in the face of an uncertain global economy was to promote private sector development by ensuring macroeconomic stability, investing in high-return projects, and undertaking structural reforms to promote efficiency throughout the economy. “By extension, our fiscal strategy recognises that two of our main revenue resources, namely mineral exports and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), are volatile and will ultimately decline as a share of GDP,” said Matambo.
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