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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Suriname

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First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government - a four-party New Front coalition - returned to power in 1991 and has ruled since; the coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

The economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of alumina, gold, and oil accounting for about 85% of exports and 25% of government revenues, making the economy highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility. the short-term economic outlook depends on the government's ability to control inflation and on the development of projects in the bauxite and gold mining sectors. suriname has received aid for these projects from netherlands, belgium, and the european development fund. suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on continued commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. in 2000, the government of ronald venetiaan, returned to office and inherited an economy with inflation of over 100% and a growing fiscal deficit. he quickly implemented an austerity program, raised taxes, attempted to control spending, and tamed inflation. these economic policies are likely to remain in effect during venetiaan's third term. prospects for local onshore oil production are good as a drilling program is underway. offshore oil drilling was given a boost in 2004 when the state oil company (staatsolie) signed exploration agreements with repsol, maersk, and occidental. bidding on these new offshore blocks was completed in july 2006.

Environmental Issues

Deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities

Government Type

Constitutional democracy


475,996 (july 2008 est.)


Northern south america, bordering the north atlantic ocean, between french guiana and guyana


Total: 163,270 sq km land: 161,470 sq km water: 1,800 sq km

Slightly larger than georgia

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of suriname conventional short form: suriname local long form: republiek suriname local short form: suriname former: netherlands guiana, dutch guiana


Name: paramaribo geographic coordinates: 5 50 n, 55 10 w time difference: utc-3 (2 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18 years of age (est.); recruitment is voluntary, with personnel drawn almost exclusively from the creole community (2007)

International Disputes

Area claimed by french guiana between riviere litani and riviere marouini (both headwaters of the lawa); suriname claims a triangle of land between the new and kutari/koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the courantyne; guyana seeks united nations convention on the law of the sea (unclos) arbitration to resolve the long-standing dispute with suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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