Suriname

Authored by: Scott B. MacDonald

Handbook of Caribbean Economies

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367210489
eBook ISBN: 9780429265105
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429265105-23

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Abstract

Suriname’s economy is based on extractive activities, namely gold and oil. Efforts are being made to reduce that dependence by diversifying the economy’s base, which is proving to be a major challenge and could be complicated by the discovery of commercial quantities of offshore oil in early 2020. Based on the experience of other developing countries faced with a sudden surge of oil wealth, there is concern that an oil curse may develop. The detrimental effects of oil can be avoided but it will mean the country gaining better control over its national finances, particularly fiscal policy and debt management. Suriname needs to make a more concerted effort to improve the country’s institutional framework, adhere to international norms and more deeply integrate the country with the larger world. The May 2020 general election could provide a catalyst for the new government to address these issues, although it must first deal with the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic which has thrown the country into a steep recession. There should be a return to normalcy in 2021 and 2022.

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