The smallest country in South America, Suriname is an upper middle income country and was one of the Caribbean’s best performing economies over the last decade, largely due to its rich endowment in natural resources and biodiversity. The economy grew by 4.5 percent per year on average between 2004 and 2014, bringing the per capita income of its population of 530,000 to US$9,950 in 2014 (Atlas method). However, with the end of the community boom, GDP growth came to a halt in 2015. The economy is expected to contract in 2016, but recent investments in large oil and gold operations are expected to provide some support for GDP growth once those projects enter full production in 2016–17.
Suriname’s economy is highly concentrated in the extractive industries (gold, oil, and bauxite), which have played a key role in driving growth and revenues. While high commodity prices have benefited Suriname for several years, reliance on natural resource revenues exposes the country to commodity price fluctuations. In addition, Suriname is highly vulnerable to climatic disasters, especially flooding due to rising sea levels, excess rain fall, and recently high force winds.
To address these issues, the Government has prioritized economic diversification through broad private sector development, a program to strengthen social services, and better management of disaster risks. The National Development Plan lays out detailed set of actions to address economic and climatic vulnerabilities. The Government has reached out to several international development agencies including the World Bank Group and bilateral governments to assist in implementing its plan.
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2016