- Basic data
- Public finances and the state budget
- Banking system
- Tax System
In 2021, Suriname saw its GDP decline by 1.5%. To a large extent, these were the reverberations of the pandemic. In 2022, GDP is expected to grow by 3.2%. This growth may be higher due to the international political and economic situation and subsequent rise in commodity prices.
According to cheeroutdoor.com, the basis of the economy remains the mining of gold, platinum and precious stones, the export of which represents approximately 60% of all exports of the country. Gold mining is dominated by companies from the USA and Canada, however, the largest importer of SR gold is the United Arab Emirates, followed by Switzerland and the USA. Diamonds generally go to Belgium. The importance of bauxite in the composition of exports has significantly decreased compared to before, not because of a lack of resources, but because of a decrease in profitability at the current low world prices. Suriname’s deep structural economies continue to persist, making it chronically sluggish and dependent on commodity exports.
Table from MOP + additionally balance of payments, indebtedness/GDP.
|GDP growth (%)||0.3||-14||-1.5||3.2||6|
|Export of goods (billion USD)||2.2||2.1||2.3||ON||ON|
|Import of goods (billion USD)||1.7||1.2||1.4||ON||ON|
|Trade Balance (Billion USD)||0.5||1.1||0.9||0.9||0.9|
|Industrial production (% change)||ON||ON||ON||ON||ON|
|OECD export risk||06.VII||06.VII||06.VII||ON||ON|
Source: EIU, OECD, IMD
Public finance and state budget
|State budget balance (% of GDP)||2.4|
|Public debt (% of GDP)||125|
|Current account balance (billion USD)||0.3|
In the case of Suriname, as in the case of all countries that export commodities, there was a significant change in the estimates of export earnings and subsequently in the estimates of economic growth in the first half of 2021. The original paradigm, according to which countries dependent on commodity exports and with little industrialization were considered risky, was dramatically shattered by the war in Ukraine and the subsequent energy and raw material crisis in Europe and on a global scale. Now, commodity-exporting countries are in a certain medium-term advantage. This is also indicated by the estimate of Suriname’s GDP of around 3.2% for the year 2022. The growth can be even higher.
The aforementioned profound change in the world economy will favor Suriname in the medium term. Its public debt of 125% is high but can be expected to decline in 2022.
At the head of the banking system is the Central Bank of Suriname, which performs the function of issuing bank and has regulatory and controlling foreign exchange powers.
The largest Surinamese banks are: RBTT BANK (SURINAME) NV DE SURINAAMSCHE BANK NV HAKRINBANK NV SURINAAMSE POSTSPAARBANK STICHTING SURINAAMSE VOLKSCREDITELBANK LANDBOUWBANK NV FINABANK NV SURICHANGE BANK NV Insurance companies: ASSURIA LEVENSVERZEKERING NV CLICO LIFE AND GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY (SA) Ltd. CLICO LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY SURINAME NV FATUM LEVENSVERZEKERING NV ASSURIA SCHADEVERZEKERING NV ASSURIA MEDISCHE VERZEKERING NV etc. Pawn shops and credit unions: COOPERATIEVE CENTRALE VAN KREDIETCOOPERATIES CA COOPERATIEVE VERENIGING SPAAR-EN KREDIETCOOPERATIE C-47 GA KREDIETCOOPERATIE KERSTEN GA etc.
Savings funds and investment and financial companies also operate on the market.
Suriname has a tax system that consists of the following basic taxes: corporate income tax: rate of 36% real estate tax: different rates depending on the location and creditworthiness of the land personal income tax (according to the amount of income): rates of 0%, 8 %, 18%, 28%, 38% social security contribution paid by the employee: 4%
There is also a 10% sales tax (VAT)
Despite some improved macroeconomic data, public finances remain in deficit. Overall, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial sector cannot yet be accurately estimated from open sources. One can only reasonably predict an increase in its instability. Political risks One of the biggest current challenges of the Surinamese government requiring an urgent solution is the difficult situation of state finances. Suriname’s national debt currently amounts to an astronomical 3.28 billion USD, exceeding 159% of GDP (of which Suriname owes 537 million USD to China), and the country is no longer able to pay even the interest on its debt in the long term. Suriname is trying to find a way out through intensive negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. The situation should change significantly only in the horizon of 4 to 5 years, when Suriname’s solvency is likely to improve due to expected oil revenues. In response to the election of the president and the appointment of a new government, Fitch Ratings revised Suriname’s credit rating for foreign currency loans and raised the rating from “RD” (Restricted default) to “CC” (Very high levels of credit risk). The rating agency Standard & Poor’s immediately took the same step.