General facts

General Information

The Republic of Suriname, with its capital Paramaribo, is probably best known for being one of the greenest nations on earth, with more than 90% of its surface covered by dense tropical rainforest. Suriname with its extensive natural resources and impressive biodiversity lies in the northeast of South America and is part of the Guiana's. The country covers an area of 163,270 square kilometers.


Dutch is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood. Sranan Tongo is the lingua franca. Most of the population also speak their ethnic language such as Sarnami, Javanese, Chinese (Hakka and Mandarin), different Maroon and Indigenous languages.


The history of Suriname accounts for the country's highly diversified ethnic population, with a very diverse ethnic heritage, consisting of native indigenous people (Amerindians) and Maroons (descendants of African slaves) who are still living traditionally in the hinterland, mixed Afro Surinamese (Creoles), descendants of immigrants from India, China, Indonesia, Europe.

At the same time traditional ways of life of the ethnic groups have remained the same. In recent decades an increasing number of immigrants from China (known as new Chinese) and Brazil have also settled in Suriname.


Suriname has many religions and religious tolerance knows no bounds. Christianity is the most practiced religion, Hinduism, Islam and other traditional religions are also being practiced.


The Government has a considerable share in the service sector as major employer. The majority of the active population is in fact employed by the government or parastatal companies. People are furthermore working in sectors such as trade, mining, agriculture or industry. The revenues from the mining sector are largely contributing to the Surinamese economy. In this regard export earnings from bauxite, crude oil, gold and derivatives can be mentioned.

Economic activities among local private companies are particularly focused on trade and services and less on industry. Some important trading partners of Suriname are the United States of America, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, China, Japan, France, Norway, and Trinidad and Tobago.


The national monetary unit is the Surinamese Dollar (SRD). However US Dollars and Euro’s are widely used and accepted.

Fact Sheet of Suriname

 Official Name  Republic of Suriname
 Head of State  H.E. Desiré Delano Bouterse
 Vice-President  H.E. Ashwin M. Adhin
 Minister of Foreign Affairs  H.E. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle
 Area  163.270 Sq. Kms
 Capital City  Paramaribo
 Population  554.000 (est. 2014)
 Official language  Dutch
 Literacy  95%
 National Day  25 November
 Climate  Tropical
 Financial year  1 January – 31 December
 Real GDP (2012 E)   5.65
 Form of Government  Constitutional Democracy, President is both Head of State and Head of Government
 Cabinet  Cabinet of Ministers appointed by President
 Legislative Branch   Unicameral National Assembly (51 seats). Members are elected by popular vote to serve five-years terms
 Ethnic Groups  Hindustanis (27.4 %), Creoles (17.7 %), Javanese (14.6%), Maroons (15.3 %), Mixed (12.5%), Others (6.4%)
 Religions  Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Other
 Official rate of exchange   US$ = SRD 7.50
 Principal Exports   Alumina, Bauxite, Gold, Crude Oil, Rice, Shrimp, Fish, Lumber.
 Principal Imports  Consumer goods, capital goods, raw-material, oil & gas
 Forestry/Agriculture  Timber, Rice, Banana, Citrus Fruits, Tropical vegetables, Fisheries, Shrimps
 Industry/Products  Alumina, Brewing Rum/Beer,
 Major Trading Partners  The Netherlands, USA, China, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Guyana