Overview

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 4.4 percent for the period 2000-2013 and the per capita income of its population of 530,000 has risen concomitantly to nearly US$8,900 in 2013.

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. The sustainability of Suriname’s development progress is also highly vulnerable to climatic disasters, especially flooding as a result of rising sea levels, which have had high human costs and created financial pressures for households, private businesses and public finances.  

To address these issues, the Government is giving high priority to promote economic diversification through broad private sector development, strengthen social services, and better manage 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.

Suriname’s levels of poverty and inequality though improving, remain worrisome. The country ranked 100 out of 187 countries in the UNDP’s 2014 Human Development Index. There are also significant inequalities between coastal areas, generally more affluent, and the rural interior. 

 

Last Updated: Apr 01, 2015

The WBG recently re-engaged with the Surinamese authorities after a 30-years hiatus. In September 2011, Suriname became member of the IFC. The Country partnership strategy for the period FY15-19 was approved by the Board on October 18, 2012 with a portfolio of a selected number of knowledge-based products to provide the basis for future engagements but not lending. The Interim Strategy was successfully implemented.

In 2014, the Government of Suriname requested additional support from the WBG which led to the preparation of a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) to cover the period 2015-2018. This was finalized and endorsed by the Board of Executive Directors in December 2014. It was the first comprehensive strategy in 30 years.

The new strategy proposes a lending program of about US$ 60 million to support Suriname’s efforts in leveraging and sustaining its economic growth through greater social inclusiveness and economic diversification.

Guided by the priorities of the government’s National Development Plan, the overarching goal of the CPS program is to support Suriname’s efforts to promote a more sustainable, inclusive, and diversified growth model through two areas of engagements:

  • creating a conducive environment for private sector development;
  • and reducing vulnerability to climate change-related floods.

The program also includes one cross cutting theme to improve the capacity to measure and analyze data on poverty and gender for evidence-based policy-making, in particular with regard to reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

The CPS lays out the WBG partnership program with Suriname, jointly prepared by the Government of Suriname and the World Bank Group, comprised by the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

In mid-2012 IFC provided a trade financing credit line of up to US$5 million to boost Surinaamsche Bank’s international trade business. IFC is currently actively exploring investment and advisory opportunities in Suriname.

 

Last Updated: Apr 01, 2015

On December 18, 2014The World Bank Group launched a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Suriname for 2015-2018, the first comprehensive strategy in 30 years.

Last Updated: Apr 01, 2015