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Suriname (2003)

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Suriname 2003 year

Administrative divisions 10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
Age structure 0-14 years: 30.7% (male 68,536; female 65,165)

15-64 years: 63.3% (male 141,048; female 134,699)

65 years and over: 6% (male 11,686; female 14,315) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products paddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; forest products; shrimp
Airports 46 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 5

over 3,047 m: 1

under 914 m: 4 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 41

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 35 (2002)
Area total: 163,270 sq km

land: 161,470 sq km

water: 1,800 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Georgia
Background 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 rule through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1989, the military overthrew the civilian government, but a democratically-elected government returned to power in 1991.
Birth rate 19.4 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $393 million

expenditures: $403 million, including capital expenditures of $34 million (1997 est.)
Capital Paramaribo
Climate tropical; moderated by trade winds
Coastline 386 km
Constitution ratified 30 September 1987
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Suriname

conventional short form: Suriname

local long form: Republiek Suriname

local short form: Suriname

former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana
Currency Surinamese guilder (SRG)
Death rate 6.83 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $321 million (2002 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel A. JOHNSON

embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo

mailing address: Department of State, 3390 Paramaribo Place, Washington, DC, 20521-3390

telephone: [597] 472900

FAX: [597] 420800
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Henry Lothar ILLES

chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488

FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878

consulate(s) general: Miami
Disputes - international area disputed by French Guiana between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa); area disputed by Guyana between New (Upper Courantyne) and Courantyne/Koetari [Kutari] rivers (all headwaters of the Courantyne); territorial sea boundary with Guyana is in dispute
Economic aid - recipient Netherlands provided $37 million for project and program assistance, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (1998)
Economy - overview The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for more than 15% of GDP and 70% of export earnings. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on renewed commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The government of Ronald VENETIAAN has begun an austerity program, raised taxes, and attempted to control spending. However, in 2002, President VENETIAAN agreed to a large pay raise for civil servants, which threatens his earlier gains in stabilizing the economy. The Dutch Government has agreed to restart the aid flow, which will allow Suriname to access international development financing. 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.
Electricity - consumption 1.822 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 1.959 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 25.2%

hydro: 74.8%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m

highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m
Environment - current issues deforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Hindustani (also known locally as "East Indians"; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 37%, Creole (mixed white and black) 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%
Exchange rates Surinamese guilders per US dollar - 2,346.75 (2002), 2,178.5 (2001), 1,322.47 (2000), 859.44 (1999), 401 (1998)

note: during 1998, the exchange rate splintered into four distinct rates; in January 1999 the government floated the guilder, but subsequently fixed it when the black-market rate plunged; the government currently allows trading within a band of SRG 500 around the official rate
Executive branch chief of state: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Jules Rattankoemar AJODHIA (since 12 August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Jules Rattankoemar AJODHIA (since 12 August 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly

elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a constitutional majority in the National Assembly after two votes, by the larger People's Assembly (869 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms; election last held 6 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005)

note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the call for elections a year early

election results: Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN elected president by the National Assembly; percent of legislative vote - Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN 72.5%; Rashied DOEKHIE (NDP) 19.6%; total votes cast - Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (New Front) 37 votes, Rashied DOEKHIE (NDP) 10 votes
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $445 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities alumina, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
Exports - partners US 25.3%, Norway 20.4%, France 8.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.4%, Iceland 6%, Canada 5.9%, Netherlands 5.6% (2002)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description five horizontal bands of green (top, double width), white, red (quadruple width), white, and green (double width); there is a large, yellow, five-pointed star centered in the red band
GDP purchasing power parity - $1.469 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 13%

industry: 22%

services: 65% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $3,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.2% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 4 00 N, 56 00 W
Geography - note smallest independent country on South American continent; mostly tropical rain forest; great diversity of flora and fauna that, for the most part, is increasingly threatened by new development; relatively small population, mostly along the coast
Highways total: 4,492 km

paved: 1,168 km

unpaved: 3,324 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Illicit drugs growing transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $300 million f.o.b. (2002)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Imports - partners US 22.2%, Netherlands 15.6%, China 11.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 11.2%, France 7.5%, Netherlands Antilles 7.2%, Japan 5.7% (2002)
Independence 25 November 1975 (from Netherlands)
Industrial production growth rate 6.5% (1994 est.)
Industries bauxite and gold mining, alumina production, oil, lumbering, food processing, fishing
Infant mortality rate total: 24.74 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 28.93 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 20.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 17% (2002 est.)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 2 (2000)
Irrigated land 490 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Court of Justice (justices are nominated for life)
Labor force 100,000
Labor force - by occupation agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Land boundaries total: 1,707 km

border countries: Brazil 597 km, French Guiana 510 km, Guyana 600 km
Land use arable land: 0.37%

permanent crops: 0.06%

other: 99.57%

note: there are 95,000 hectares of arable land, 7,000 hectares of permanent crops, and 15,000 hectares of permanent pastures (1998 est.)
Languages Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
Legal system based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NF 33, MC 10, DNP 2000 3, DA '91 2, PVF 2, PALU 1

note: widespread demonstrations during the summer of 1999 led to the call for elections a year early
Life expectancy at birth total population: 69.23 years

male: 66.79 years

female: 71.78 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 93%

male: 95%

female: 91% (1995 est.)
Location Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Map references South America
Maritime claims exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 2,421 GRT/2,990 DWT

ships by type: cargo 1, container 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches National Army (including small Navy and Air Force elements), Civil Police
Military expenditures - dollar figure $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.6% (FY97 est.)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 123,159 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 72,039 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 25 November (1975)
Nationality noun: Surinamer(s)

adjective: Surinamese
Natural hazards NA
Natural resources timber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
Net migration rate -8.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Pipelines oil 51 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders Democratic Alternative '91 or DA '91 (a coalition of the Alternative Forum or AF and Party for Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP, formed in January 1991) [Winston JESSURUN]; Democratic National Platform 2000 or DNP 2000 (coalition of two parties, Democratic Party and Democrats of the 21st Century) [Jules WIJDENBOSCH]; Independent Progressive Democratic Alternative or OPDA [Joginder RAMKHILAWAN]; Millennium Combination or MC (a coalition of three parties, Democratic Alternative, Party for National Unity and Solidarity, and National Democratic Party) [leader NA]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; Naya Kadam or NK [leader NA]; Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Tjan GOBARDHAN]; Party of National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA]; Pertjaja Luhur [Paul SOMOHARDJO]; Progressive Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union or PALU [Ir Iwan KROLIS]; The New Front or NF (a coalition of four parties Suriname National Party or NPS, Progressive Reform Party or VHP, Suriname Labor Party or SPA, and Pertjaja Luhur) [Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN]; The Progressive Development Alliance (a combination of three parties, Renewed Progressive Party or HPP, Party of the Federation of Land Workers or PVF, and Suriname Progressive People's Party or PSV) [Harry KISOENSINGH]
Political pressure groups and leaders General Liberation and Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK]; Mandela Bushnegro Liberation Movement [Leendert ADAMS]; Tucayana Amazonica [Alex JUBITANA, Thomas SABAJO]; Union for Liberation and Democracy [Kofi AFONGPONG]
Population 435,449 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 70% (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 0.37% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Albina, Moengo, New Nickerie, Paramaribo, Paranam, Wageningen
Radio broadcast stations AM 4, FM 13, shortwave 1 (1998)
Railways total: 166 km (single-track)

standard gauge: 80 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 86 km 1.000-m gauge

note: Suriname railroads are not in operation (2001)
Religions Hindu 27.4%, Muslim 19.6%, Roman Catholic 22.8%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), indigenous beliefs 5%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: international facilities are good

domestic: microwave radio relay network

international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 64,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 4,090 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 3 (plus seven repeaters) (2000)
Terrain mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Total fertility rate 2.4 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 17% (2000)
Waterways 1,200 km

note: most important means of transport; oceangoing vessels with drafts ranging up to 7 m can navigate many of the principal waterways
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