Suriname's democracy gained some strength after the turbulent 1990s, and its economy became more diversified and less dependent on Dutch financial assistance. Bauxite (aluminium ore) mining continues to be a strong revenue source, and the discovery and exploitation of oil and gold has added substantially to Suriname's economic independence. Agriculture, especially rice and bananas, remains a strong component of the economy, and ecotourism is providing new economic opportunities. More than 80% of Suriname's land-mass consists of unspoiled rain forest; with the establishment of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve in 1998, Suriname signalled its commitment to conservation of this precious resource. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve became a World Heritage Site in 2000.
Ministry of Finance.The economy of Suriname is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export earnings. Other main export products include rice, bananas and shrimp. Suriname has recently started exploiting some of its sizeable oil and gold reserves. About a quarter of the people work in the agricultural sector. The Surinamese economy is very dependent on commerce, its main trade partners being the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, and Caribbean countries, mainly Trinidad and Tobago and the former islands of the Netherlands Antilles.
After assuming power in the fall of 1996, the Wijdenbosch government ended the structural adjustment program of the previous government, claiming it was unfair to the poorer elements of society. Tax revenues fell as old taxes lapsed and the government failed to implement new tax alternatives. By the end of 1997, the allocation of new Dutch development funds was frozen as Surinamese Government relations with the Netherlands deteriorated. Economic growth slowed in 1998, with decline in the mining, construction, and utility sectors. Rampant government expenditures, poor tax collection, a bloated civil service, and reduced foreign aid in 1999 contributed to the fiscal deficit, estimated at 11% of GDP. The government sought to cover this deficit through monetary expansion, which led to a dramatic increase in inflation. It takes longer on average to register a new business in Suriname than virtually any other country in the world (694 days or about 99 weeks).
GDP (2010 est.): U.S. $4.794 billion.Annual growth rate real GDP (2010 est.): 3.5%.Per capita GDP (2010 est.): U.S. $9,900.Inflation (2007): 6.4%.Natural resources: Bauxite, gold, oil, iron ore, other minerals; forests; hydroelectric potential; fish and shrimp.Agriculture: Products—rice, bananas, timber, palm kernels, coconuts, peanuts, citrus fruits, and forest products.Industry: Types—alumina, oil, gold, fish, shrimp, lumber.Trade (2005):Exports: $1.391 billion: alumina, gold, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas. Major consumers: Canada 35.47%, Belgium 14.92%, US 10.15%, UAE 9.87%, Norway 4.92%, Netherlands 4.7%, France 4.47% (2009)Imports: $1.297 billion: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods. Major suppliers: US 30.79%, Netherlands 19.17%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.04%, China 6.8%, Japan 5.85% (2009).