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Economy of Suriname

Suriname is  classed as an upper middle-income country. The economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of oil and gold accounting for approximately 85% of exports and 27% of government revenues. The service sector has the largest share in the Surinamese economy. The informal sector has a significant share in the economy. This sector is responsible for around 20% of GDP.  Increased gold output as new projects come on stream will support a recovery in real GDP growth in 2019-2020.

Economic activity is in the hands of both private and state-owned companies. Some important products for which state-owned companies are responsible are petroleum, bacove, shrimp, electricity, gas, water and telecommunications. In general, local companies are more focused on services and trade and to a lesser extent on industry and other economic activities. The result of this can therefore be seen in the share of the various sectors in the gross domestic product (GDP).


Revenues: 560.7 Million (2017 est.)

Expenditures: 827.8 million (2017 est.)

GDP (PPP in US$)

$8.688 billion (2017 est.)

$8.526 billion (2016 est.)

$8.988 billion (2015 est.)

GDP (per Capita in US$)

$14,900 (2017 est.)

$14,800 (2016 est.)

$15,900 (2015 est.)

Natural Resources

Suriname possesses kaolin, bauxite, gold and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum and oil. Oil has large potential reserves yet to be discovered. Suriname also has large quantities of resources including fish, shrimp,  timber and fresh water. The country is especially rich in timber and fresh-water as it boasts the highest forest cover in the world, 94%, and the globe’s third largest reserves of  fresh-water, 228,000 m3   per capita. These have led to a great amount of biodiversity, which can be an obvious boon to the tourism industry.

The forests of Suriname has a variety of non-timber forest products (NTFP) with  significant commercial potential. These include agricultural products, natural remedies and the arts and crafts of indigenous communities that  call the forest home. The agricultural products   in these communities are particularly valuable due to their  completely natural production, which  is ideal for the growing premium market for organic produce.

Monetary System

The monetary system of Suriname has undergone a radical change on January 1, 2004, with the Surinamese guilder (SRG) as currency being replaced by the Surinamese dollar (SRD). At the time of the switch, all amounts expressed in SRG were divided by a factor of 1000. 

The Surinamese economy has an exchange rate system in which the Surinamese currency is linked to the US dollar. The exchange rate system includes an official, free market and black market rate. The official exchange rate is determined by the Central Bank of Suriname (CBvS), it is only used in case of government debts and for the payment of taxes by the bauxite companies. The free market rate is determined by the commercial banks and exchange offices and is used for most transactions that take place at the market. The black market rate has become less important since 2003, after the CBvS abolished the margin for the free market rate.

Suriname Gross Domestic Product

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       Source: Central Bank of Suriname

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