Suriname is a small nation located in the northeast corner of South America with a population of approximately 586,000 people. The economy of Suriname is largely dependent on its natural resources, particularly its bauxite reserves. In 2017, the country’s GDP was estimated at US$6.7 billion and its per capita GDP was US$11,000. The country’s foreign relations have been historically close with the Netherlands and other Caribbean countries. It is also an active member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and has recently become more involved in international organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS). Politically, Suriname has a multi-party system with several strong parties vying for power. In 2017, Desi Bouterse was re-elected as president after his coalition won a majority in parliament in 2015 elections. The current government has committed to tackling corruption and economic inequality to ensure that all citizens have access to basic services and resources. See militarynous for Suriname military and defense.
Suriname. Economically, 2017 was a worrying year for Suriname. The forecasts spoke of economic growth of –1.2%, making it the third consecutive year of negative growth. According to Countryaah.com, the opening of the new gold mine Newmont Merian in October 2016 was considered to be able to lift the growth figures to some extent from the disastrous 2016 loss of 9%. Hopes for new offshore oil prospects increased with the discovery during the year of new oil fields in neighboring Guyana, but exploration was not a success for Suriname. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Suriname.
As a result of the shrinking economy and falling oil and gold revenues, petrol, water and electricity prices rose in April, leading to protests with thousands of participants, especially in the first weeks of April in the capital Paramaribo. Union leaders singled out President Dési Bouterses’ economic policy as responsible for the situation rather than world market prices. At the same time as the budget deficit of 6% and inflation of 60% forced the government into negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and promises to keep wages down, the country’s teachers in particular pressed for increased wages, and teacher union leader Wilgo Valies was arrested by police during the protests in April.