Region: South America

Capital: Paramaribo

Population: 573,311 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 163,820 sq km

Currency: Surinam dollar (SRD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $12,900 (2013 CIA est.)

First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of African slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government – a four-party coalition – returned to power in 1991. The coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005 and ruled until August 2010, when voters returned former military leader Desire BOUTERSE and his opposition coalition to power. (CIA 2014)

Economy – Overview:
The economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of alumina, gold, and oil accounting for about 85% of exports and 25% of government revenues, making the economy highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility. Economic growth has remained at about 4-5% per year in 2010-13, but the government’s budget was strained by high inflation in 2010. In January 2011, the government devalued the currency by 20% and raised taxes to reduce the budget deficit. As a result of these measures, inflation has receded to about 4% in 2013. Suriname’s economic prospects for the medium term will depend on continued commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The government’s reliance on revenue from extractive industries will temper Suriname’s economic outlook, especially if gold prices continue their downward trend. (CIA, 2014)

Major Export Commodities: alumina, gold, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas

Remittances inflows: US $8 million (World Bank 2012 est.)

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: 105 out of 186 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $39,600,000.
Major development partners include:Netherlands, E.U. Institutions, Global Fund, France, IDB Sp. Fund (OECD 2012).

Total External Debt: US $860 million (31 December 2013 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 71.69 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 3.5
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 94.6
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 4.7
(UNDP 2013)

United Nations membership date: 4 December 1975

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations
866 United Nations Plaza,Suite 320
New York, N.Y.10017 USA
Telephone: (212)-826-0660, -0661, -0662, 0663
Fax: 212-980-7029

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
World Development Indicators. World Bank
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme.

Updated January 2015