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Suriname (2008)

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Suriname 2008 year

Administrative divisions 10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
Age structure 0-14 years: 28% (male 67,088/female 64,949)

15-64 years: 65.7% (male 154,148/female 155,345)

65 years and over: 6.2% (male 12,726/female 16,528) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products paddy rice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; shrimp; forest products
Airports 50 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 5

over 3,047 m: 1

under 914 m: 4 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 45

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 40 (2007)
Area total: 163,270 sq km

land: 161,470 sq km

water: 1,800 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Georgia
Background 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, expanding to eight parties in 2005.
Birth rate 17.31 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $392.6 million

expenditures: $425.9 million (2004)
Capital name: Paramaribo

geographic coordinates: 5 50 N, 55 10 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical; moderated by trade winds
Coastline 386 km
Constitution ratified 30 September 1987; effective 30 October 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
Death rate 5.5 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $504.3 million (2005 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Lisa Bobbie SCHREIBER HUGHES

embassy: Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129, Paramaribo

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

telephone: [597] 472-900

FAX: [597] 425-690
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Jacques Ruben Constantijn KROSS

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 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
Economic aid - recipient $43.97 million

note: Netherlands provided $37 million for project and program assistance, European Development Fund $4 million, Belgium $2 million (2005)
Economy - overview The economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of alumina, gold, and oil accounting for about 55% of GDP, 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'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.
Electricity - consumption 1.423 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 1.53 billion kWh (2005)
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, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

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 dollars per US dollar - NA (2007), (2006), 2.7317 (2005), 2.7336 (2004), 2.6013 (2003)

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; in January 2004, the government replaced the guilder with the Surinamese dollar, tied to a US dollar-dominated currency basket
Executive branch chief of state: President Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN (since 12 August 2000); Vice President Ramdien SARDJOE (since 3 August 2005); 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 Ram SARDJOE (since 3 August 2005)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly or, if no presidential or vice presidential candidate receives a two-thirds constitutional majority in the National Assembly after two votes, by a simple majority in the larger United People's Assembly (893 representatives from the national, local, and regional councils), for five-year terms (no term limits); election last held on 25 May 2005 (next to be held in 2010)

election results: Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN reelected president; percent of vote - Runaldo Ronald VENETIAAN 62.9%, Rabin PARMESSAR 35.4%, other 1.7%; note - after two votes in the parliament failed to secure a two-thirds majority for a candidate, the vote then went to a special session of the United People's Assembly on 3 August 2005
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $1.391 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 3,151 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities alumina, gold, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
Exports - partners Norway 23%, Canada 15.5%, US 12.6%, Belgium 10.1%, France 8.5%, UAE 6.9%, Iceland 4.2% (2006)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 10.8%

industry: 24.4%

services: 64.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5.1% (2007 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
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 via the Netherlands and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $1.297 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 6,032 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
Imports - partners US 29.4%, Netherlands 18.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.9%, Japan 5.1%, China 4.9% (2006)
Independence 25 November 1975 (from the 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: 20.11 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 23.73 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 16.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9.5% (2005 est.)
International organization participation ACP, Caricom, CSN, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO (suspended), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 510 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Cantonal Courts and a Court of Justice as an appellate court (justices are nominated for life)
Labor force 156,700 (2004)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 8%

industry: 14%

services: 78% (2004)
Land boundaries total: 1,703 km

border countries: Brazil 593 km, French Guiana 510 km, Guyana 600 km
Land use arable land: 0.36%

permanent crops: 0.06%

other: 99.58% (2005)
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), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
Legal system based on Dutch legal system incorporating French penal theory; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 May 2005 (next to be held in 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - NF 39.7%, NDP 22.2%, VVV 13.8%, A-Com 7.2%, A-1 5.9%, other 11.2%; seats by party - NF 23, NDP 15, VVV 5, A-Com 5, A-1 3
Life expectancy at birth total population: 73.23 years

male: 70.52 years

female: 76.12 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 89.6%

male: 92%

female: 87.2% (2004 census)
Location Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Map references South America
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 1,078 GRT/1,214 DWT

by type: cargo 1 (2007)
Military branches National Army (Nationaal Leger, NL; includes Naval Wing, Air Wing) (2007)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.6% (2006 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 -0.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Pipelines oil 50 km (2007)
Political parties and leaders Alternative-1 or A-1 (a coalition of Amazone Party of Suriname or APS [Kenneth VAN GENDEREN], Democrats of the 21st Century or D-21 [Soewarto MOESTADJA], Nieuw Suriname or NS [Radjen Nanan PANDAY], Political Wing of the FAL or PVF [Jiwan SITAL], Trefpunt 2000 or T-2000 [Arti JESSURUN]); General Interior Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire BOUTERSE]; New Front for Democracy and Development or NF (a coalition which includes A-Combination or A-Com, Democratic Alternative 1991 or DA-91, an independent, business-oriented party [Winston JESSURUN], National Party Suriname or NPS [Ronald VENETIAAN], United Reform Party or VHP [Ramdien SARDJOE], Pertjaja Luhur or PL [Salam Paul SOMOHARDJO], Surinamese Labor Party or SPA [Siegfried GILDS]); Party for Democracy and Development in Unity or DOE [Marten SCHALKWIJK]; People's Alliance for Progress or VVV (a coalition of Democratic National Platform 2000 or DNP-2000 [Jules WIJDENBOSCH], Grassroots Party for Renewal and Democracy or BVD [Tjan GOBARDHAN], Party for National Unity and Solidarity of the Highest Order or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA], Party for Progression, Justice, and Perseverance or PPRS [Renee KAIMAN], Pendawalima or PL [Raymond SAPOEN]); Progressive Laborers and Farmers Union or PALU [Jim HOK]; Progressive Political Party or PPP [Surinder MUNGRA]; Seeka [Paul ABENA]; Union of Progressive Surinamers or UPS [Sheoradj PANDAY]
Political pressure groups and leaders Association of Indigenous Village Chiefs [Ricardo PANE]; Association of Saramaccan Authorities or Maroon [Head Captain WASE]; Women's Parliament Forum or PVF [Iris GILLIAD]
Population 470,784 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 70% (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 1.103% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 4, FM 13, shortwave 1 (1998)
Religions Hindu 27.4%, Protestant 25.2% (predominantly Moravian), Roman Catholic 22.8%, Muslim 19.6%, indigenous beliefs 5%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.033 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.992 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 0.988 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: international facilities are good

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 90 telephones per 100 persons; microwave radio relay network

international: country code - 597; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 81,500 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 320,000 (2006)
Television broadcast stations 3 (plus 7 repeaters) (2000)
Terrain mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
Total fertility rate 2.03 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 9.5% (2004)
Waterways 1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2005)
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