The smallest country in South America, Suriname is an upper middle income country with a strong performing economy. In fact, it has emerged as one of the Caribbean’s best performing economies over the last decade, due largely to its rich endowment in natural resources and biodiversity. The country recorded average growth of 4.5 percent for the period 2004-2014 and the per capita income of its population of 530,000 has risen concomitantly to nearly US$9,217 in 2014.
Suriname’s economy is highly concentrated in the extractive industries (gold, oil, and bauxite), which plays a key role in driving growth, employment and government revenues. While high commodity prices have benefited Suriname for several years, reliance on natural resource revenues exposes the country to commodity price fluctuations. 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 a detailed set of priorities and actions to address economic and climatic vulnerabilities. The Government has reached out to several international development agencies including the World Bank Group (WBG) and bilateral governments to assist in implementing its plan.
With a significant investment pipeline that spans new projects in the gold and oil industries, the medium–term economic outlook for Suriname remains positive. Growth is projected to remain within the range of 2– 3 percent per year.
Last Updated: Sep 08, 2015