Economy overview: The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which produces over 15% of GDP and generates 70% of export earnings. After coming to power in the autumn of 1996, the WJIDENBOSH government rolled back the structural change program devised by the previous government, claiming that it was unfair to the poorest sections of society. Tax revenues have declined as the old taxes are no longer valid and the government has failed to implement an alternative tax system. By the end of 1997, the flow of new development funds from the Netherlands was frozen, as relations between Suriname and the former metropolis became more complicated. Economic growth slowed in 1998, with a decline in the mining, construction and utilities sectors. Excessive government spending, poor tax discipline, the bloated state apparatus and the reduction in foreign aid in 1999 contributed to the growth of the budget deficit, which reached 11% of GDP. The government tried to cover the deficit by expanding the money supply, which led to a dramatic rise in inflation and a fall in the exchange rate of the local currency. The medium-term outlook for the Surinamese economy depends on whether the transition to responsible monetary and fiscal policies takes place and whether structural reforms are carried out to liberalize markets and stimulate competition. The new government of VENETIAAN introduced austerity, raised taxes and tried to strictly control spending. The exchange rate has stabilized. The Government of the Netherlands has returned to providing assistance, which should be followed by international financial support for the development of Suriname. See topb2bwebsites.com to know more about Suriname in 2004.
GDP: PPP $1.48 billion (1999 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: -1% (1999 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $3,400 (1999 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 13%; industry: 22%; services: 65% (1998 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 78% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 100,000 people
Employment structure: agriculture – no data, industry – no data, services – no data.
Unemployment rate: 20% (1997).
Budget: revenues: $393 million; expenses: $403 million, including capital expenditures of $34 million (1997 est.).
Spheres of economy: mining of bauxite and gold, production of alumina, timber, food industry, fishing.
Growth in industrial production: 6.5% (1994 est.).
Electricity generation: 1.937 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 25.92%; hydropower: 74.08%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 1.801 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: paddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, peanuts; beef, chickens; forest products; shrimps.
Export: $443 million (free on board, 1999)
Exports: alumina, crude oil, timber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas.
Export partners: USA 23%, Norway 19%, Netherlands 11%, France, Japan, UK (1999).
Imports: $525 million (free on board, 1999)
Imports: manufacturing equipment, oil, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods.
Import partners: USA 35%, Netherlands 15%, Trinidad and Tobago 12%, Japan, UK, Brazil (1999).
External debt: $512 million (2000 est.). Economic aid recipient: The Netherlands provided $37 million in support of various projects, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (1998).
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Suriname guilder.
Currency code: SRG.
Exchange rate: SRG/USD -2,178.50 (December 2000), 987.50 (December 1999), 401.00 (December 1998), 401.00 (December 1997), 401.26 (December 1996); note: since July 1994, the Central Bank has abandoned the multiple exchange rates and the rate has become determined by the market; during 1998 four different courses were introduced; in January 1999, the government let go of the exchange rate, but then fixed it again when the black market rate fell sharply; at present, the government allows fluctuations in the selling rate of the currency within plus or minus 500 guilders from the official rate.
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 64,000 (1997).
Mobile Cell Phones: 4,090 (1997).
Telephone system: good international service; domestic: microwave radio relay network; international: satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 4, FM -13, shortwave – 1 (1998).
Radio receivers: 300,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 3 (and 7 repeaters) (1997).
TVs: 63,000 (1997).
Internet country code: sr
Internet service providers: 2 (2000).
Number of users: 10,000 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 166 km (single track); with standard gauge: 80 km (1.435 m gauge); narrow gauge: 86 km (1,000 m gauge); note: no railroads are used (2000).
Roads: total: 4,530 km; coated: 1,178 km; unpaved: 3,352 km (1996 est.).
Waterways: 1,200 km; water transport is the most important mode of transport; ocean-going vessels with a draft of up to 7 m can navigate many inland waterways.
Ports and harbors: Albina, Wageningen, Mungo, Nieuw Nickerie, Paramaribo, Paranam.
Merchant navy: total: 3 vessels (displacement of 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 3,432 gross register tons / 4,525 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of different types: cargo ships – 1, container ships – 1, oil tankers – 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 46 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 5; over 3,047 m: 1; from 914 to 1523 m:1; less than 914 m: 3 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 41; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:5; less than 914 m: 35 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: national army (includes small units of the navy and air force), civilian police.
Total military manpower: male 15 to 49: 121,656 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 71,344 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $8.5 million (1997 est.).
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.6% (1997 est.)
International problems International disputes: Suriname claims the area of French Guiana between the rivers Maroni and Litani; Guyana claims the area between the rivers New (Upper Koranteyn) and Koe-tari (Koutari) (both are the sources of the Koranteyn River).
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for drug shipments to Europe and Brazil; transshipment point for the illegal delivery of weapons to the drug mafia.