Economic Development

Suriname is highly dependent on three commodities: gold, oil, and alumina. Tourism, agriculture and construction are the fastest growing sector of the economy, but they remain tiny compared to the commodities industry.

In recent years, the mining sector has become even more diversified since the discovery and exploitation of petroleum deposits and more intensive mining of gold reserves. Exploitation of the former commodity started in 1982 by Staatsolie Maatschappy N.V., and its production has increased steadily.

Despite the dominant role of the mining sectors in the economy, agricultural activities, usually backed by government policy, has been increasingly significant in their employment and production values. The key crops under cultivation are paddy rice and bananas, helped by mechanized production methods.

From about 2004, gold has become the largest foreign exchange earner in Suriname. Although its production process has not been organized as is found in bauxite and oil sectors, the production of gold has gradually emerged as an important part in the Suriname economy.

After mining, the second biggest sector in Suriname is agriculture, with rice and banana being the two main agriculture export commodities.

Suriname's recent experience with macroeconomic stabilization also presents a positive example for the Caribbean region of how meaningful and comprehensive adjustment is possible, provided that it is well designed, properly sequenced, and implemented by the government with commitment and resolve.

According to the IMF's most recent assessment of Suriname's economy, economic activity remains strong, and inflation pressures have abated considerably. Suriname is estimated to have grown by 4 percent in 2012, buoyed by the oil and gold sectors, as well as public investment.

Structural reforms

With stability now in place, the authorities are turning their attention to structural reforms that will allow Suriname to be more resilient and grow in a sustainable way. To this end, revenue diversification measures, such as the implementation of a value-added tax, will help broaden the tax base and stabilize revenues. The authorities also continue to keep a watchful eye on public finances. Spending should be kept in check, while providing sufficient space to invest in infrastructure and human capital with the view to better integrate and diversify the economy.