WASHINGTON, November 7, 2011 — Françoise Clottes, World Bank Director for the Caribbean, Giorgio Valentini, World Bank Country Representative for Suriname, and Kirk Ifill, Representative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will begin today a three-day visit to Suriname to renew the Bank’s commitment to the country’s development efforts. After 30 years of limited dialogue, Suriname and the World Bank Group are currently working on a gradual re-engagement strategy and exploring how the organization’s global knowledge and expertise can best support the government.
The World Bank high-level officials will meet with Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse to discuss his priorities and how the Bank can assist the country. Clottes, Valentini and Ifill will then meet with representatives from the public and the private sectors as well as other development partners to exchange views on Suriname’s opportunities and challenges.
Since October 2010, the World Bank is working in partnership with the Government of Suriname to develop an Interim Strategy Note (ISN). The ISN is a two-year strategy that will guide the World Bank Group’s engagement in Suriname and is closely aligned with Suriname’s Multi-Year Annual Development Plan (2012-2014).
The World Bank has recently completed an Accounting and Auditing Report on Standards and Observance of Code (ROSC), which will support financial institutions to learn from and attain international best practices in the field of auditing and accounting, and is currently assessing the needs in public financial management and procurement.
"We are delighted to be reengaging with Suriname and supporting the country’s ambitious development strategy,” said Clottes. “I look forward to meeting President Bouterse and his team to learn firsthand how we can better contribute as a global institution to the long-term development of a global country such as Suriname.”
Suriname’s economic growth is estimated to have risen from 3 percent in 2009 to 4.5 percent in 2010, driven by a rebound in prices of Suriname’s main commodity exports (gold, petroleum, and alumina), higher alumina production, and elevated government spending. Growth is expected to accelerate to 5 percent in 2011 supported by continued buoyant commodity prices, and large capital investments in the mineral and energy sectors.
As of September 2011, the Government of Suriname joined the IFC, as its 183rd member and entered into an agreement with the World Bank’s Treasury to provide reserve advisory and management services to Suriname’s Central Bank. Suriname is also in the initial stages of joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
Suriname is eligible for financing through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the arm of the World Bank that aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and analytical and advisory services.