Suriname’s economy is small with public sector activities, services and mining (aluminium, gold) being the major sectors. Following an improved economic performance in recent years, a slow down is to be expected due to falling commodity prices and decreasing inflows of foreign direct investment. While Suriname’s social indicators are generally comparable with those of its Caribbean neighbours, the country remains poor, only ranking 89 (out of 179) in the 2007-2008 Human Development Report. Urban poverty exists but the main disadvantaged groups are the Maroons and Amerindians living in the vast interior of the country.
The Country Strategy Paper for Suriname (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for the co-operation between the European Commission (EC) and Suriname under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The state of infrastructure in Suriname is weak. The road network consists of 4,570 km of roads, of which 1,125 km are paved. Most roads are in poor condition and traffic volumes are generally low. Therefore, EC assistance under the 10th EDF will concentrate on support for the transport sector to promote regional and international integration and co-operation, to improve access to services and the competitiveness of the private sector through improved transport links. This will contribute to achieving the Government's development objectives, namely poverty reduction, a sustained income base and equitable access to services.
The EC's total allocation (2008-2013) foreseen for Suriname to address these priorities amounts to €19.8 million.
Total EC assistance to Suriname, since its independence in 1975, amounts to some €165 million (not including regional programmes).
The Country Strategy Paper for Suriname (2001-2007) under 9th EDF focussed on the transport sector. In addition to transport infrastructure, the EC supported the establishment of a Road Authority to facilitate managing and funding of road maintenance and the drafting of a transport policy. Funds were provided for several transport sector activities, such as the upgrading of the road to the Guyana Ferry (30 km, €13.2 million) and the rehabilitation of the Nieuwe Haven (Port of Paramaribo, €29.8 million).
In addition, Suriname has profited from EC assistance to the restructuring of its banana industry for a total amount of 21.7 million over the last then years (1999-2008).
For further details on projects and programmes in Suriname funded from the European Development Fund and the general budget of the EU, please visit the project's section of the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, responsible for Suriname.
Other sources of information
The Directorate-General for Development is responsible for drawing up the cooperation strategy with Suriname.
More information on EU relations with Suriname is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, which is also responsible for co-operation activities in the country.
Information on trade relations in the ACP region can be found on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade.