Economic policy has tended to be so expansionist that it
has led to large deficits in the state budget and balance of
payments and high inflation (23.8% in 2003). A more
restrictive and liberalizing policy was attempted from 1993,
but it had to be partially abandoned after a while.
In 2004, agriculture (including forestry and fishing)
contributed 6.9% of GDP and employed 8% of the working
population. Only 0.5% of the land area is cultivated, mainly
in the coastal areas in the north. The inner parts are
difficult to access both for settlement and communications.
The majority of the area is used for rice cultivation. Rice
is the country's most important agricultural product and
today contributes with approx. 10% of export revenue.
Otherwise, various types of citrus fruits, bananas,
vegetables, sugar cane, corn coconuts, manioc and other are
grown in 2004, after two years of exports of bananas
resumed. Some livestock are kept: cattle, sheep and goats,
pigs and poultry.
countryaah, over 80% of the land is covered by forests, but the
forest is difficult to access and is not usable. Almost all
felling is processed, such as wood pulp, building timber or
Shrimp fishing is important, and shrimp exports currently
amount to approx. 10% of the country's export value.
Bauxite is the country's most important mineral, and is
mainly mined in the Marowijne district in the east.
Production was 4.2 million tonnes in 2003, and is controlled
by American and Dutch companies. Iron ore, manganese and
copper are also extracted, and there are unexplained
deposits of platinum and kaolin. In the country's central,
eastern parts there are large deposits of gold. In Saramacca
and Tambaredjo, both west of Paramaribo, oil discoveries
have been made. Crude oil production has risen sharply over
the past decade. Almost half goes to exports, most of which
goes to the country's aluminum industry. Suriname has great
potential for hydropower.
Beyond the aluminum industry, which utilizes the
country's deposits of bauxite, the industry is relatively
poorly developed. Most of the rest of the industry has an
emphasis on the food and beverage industry (juice,
margarine, frozen shrimp, tobacco, etc.), the clothing
industry (footwear) and sawmill. The industrial sector today
contributes 23.7% of GDP and employs 11% of the working
The service sector contributes 55% of GDP and 64% of
Just over half of the export value is alumina and
aluminum. Otherwise export of gold, shrimp and fish. The
largest recipient of the country's exports is the US with
23% of the export value, Norway (19%) and the Netherlands
(11%). Imports consist of crude oil, machinery and transport
equipment, industrial finished goods and foodstuffs.
Important countries of import are the United States (35%),
the Netherlands (15%) and Trinidad and Tobago (12%).
Transport and Communications
The country's road network mainly comprises coastal
areas, and no main roads are built for the inner areas of
the country. Therefore, navigable rivers and canals are
important for the country's transport and communication.
Paramaribo is the largest and most important port city;
International Airport (Johan Adolf Pengel, formerly Zanderij)
45 km from Paramaribo.