The Republic of Suriname, with its capital Paramaribo, is probably best known for being one of the greenest nations on earth, with more than 90% of its surface covered by dense tropical rainforest. Suriname with its extensive natural resources and impressive biodiversity lies in the northeast of South America and is part of the Guiana's. The country covers an area of 163,270 square kilometers.
Dutch is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood. Sranan Tongo is the lingua franca. Most of the population also speak their ethnic language such as Sarnami, Javanese, Chinese (Hakka and Mandarin), different Maroon and Indigenous languages.
The history of Suriname accounts for the country's highly diversified ethnic population, with a very diverse ethnic heritage, consisting of native indigenous people (Amerindians) and Maroons (descendants of African slaves) who are still living traditionally in the hinterland, mixed Afro Surinamese (Creoles), descendants of immigrants from India, China, Indonesia, Europe.
At the same time traditional ways of life of the ethnic groups have remained the same. In recent decades an increasing number of immigrants from China (known as new Chinese) and Brazil have also settled in Suriname.
Suriname has many religions and religious tolerance knows no bounds. Christianity is the most practiced religion, Hinduism, Islam and other traditional religions are also being practiced.
The Government has a considerable share in the service sector as major employer. The majority of the active population is in fact employed by the government or parastatal companies. People are furthermore working in sectors such as trade, mining, agriculture or industry. The revenues from the mining sector are largely contributing to the Surinamese economy. In this regard export earnings from bauxite, crude oil, gold and derivatives can be mentioned.
Economic activities among local private companies are particularly focused on trade and services and less on industry. Some important trading partners of Suriname are the United States of America, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, China, Japan, France, Norway, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The national monetary unit is the Surinamese Dollar (SRD). However US Dollars and Euro’s are widely used and accepted.
Fact Sheet of Suriname
|Official Name||Republic of Suriname|
|Head of State||H.E. Chandrikapersad Santokhi|
|Vice-President||H.E. Ronnie Brunswijk|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation||H.E. Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin|
|Area||163.270 Sq. Kms|
|Population||554.000 ( est. 2014)|
|National Day||25 November|
|Financial year||1 January – 31 December|
|Real GDP (2012 E)||5.65|
|Form of Government||Constitutional Democracy, President is both Head of State and Head of Government|
|Cabinet||Cabinet of Ministers appointed by President|
|Legislative Branch||Unicameral National Assembly (51 seats). Members are elected by popular vote to serve five-years terms|
|Ethnic Groups||Hindustanis (27.4 %), Creoles (17.7 %), Javanese (14.6%), Maroons (15.3 %), Mixed (12.5%), Others (6.4%)|
|Religions||Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Other|
|Official rate of exchange||US$ = SRD 3.35|
|Principal Exports||Alumina, Bauxite, Gold, Crude Oil, Rice, Shrimp, Fish, Lumber.|
|Principal Imports||Consumer goods, capital goods, raw-material, oil & gas|
|Forestry/Agriculture||Timber, Rice, Banana, Citrus Fruits, Tropical vegetables, Fisheries, Shrimps|
|Industry/Products||Alumina, Brewing Rum/Beer,|
|Major Trading Partners||The Netherlands, USA, China, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada|