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Suriname
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Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  4/11/2012 
The prospect for economic growth for Suriname is estimated at an average of 6% annually. In order to improve the fiscal accounts, the currency was devalued by twenty percent in 2011. There is, however, a stable exchange rate, an increase in international reserves by thirty percent, a sharp reduction in the fiscal deficit and all outstanding arrears with external creditors have been cleared. As a result two leading ratings agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, upgraded Suriname in 2011.

Currently, economic growth is primarily generated from the mining sector - approximately 94% of export value of goods – however, the diversification of other sectors such as agriculture and tourism are prioritized. The mining income itself is also targeted for diversification, namely through the export of oil and gold.

Medium-term growth in Suriname is projected to be sustained at 4 - 5%, supported by large investments (almost 100% of GDP), which are expected in the gold, alumina and oil sectors in the near future.

Suriname intends to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund. A law, providing strict controls on how the funds will be saved, invested and used in times of need, will be submitted to parliament.

The fiscal framework is also being strengthened, with the view to broaden our revenue base and improve public finance management and reporting. Transparency of government operations is a high priority and we are working with regional partners to strengthen statistical data systems in national accounts, public finance, balance of payments, and monetary statistics.

Suriname has, together with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), developed a country strategy plan for the coming 5 years with financing secured of up to 10% of GDP. We are also engaging to attract needed technical assistance for pre-feasibility and feasibility studies and the design of the projects themselves, while adhering to international environmental standards. Cognizant of the low debt-to-GDP ratio, Suriname will borrow only where clear benefits are seen for growing the economy and investing in our physical and human capital.

CHALLENGES IN DIVERSIFYING THE ECONOMY
1. Strengthening and increasing the capacity of the agricultural and industry sectors.
2. Acquiring Foreign Direct Investment, in particular for sustainable production in agriculture, industry and tourism.
3. Lack of economies of scale in the domestic market, due to our small and open economy.
4. Generating structural public savings.
5. Increasing national private savings, including repatriating national savings abroad.
Paragraphs: 7 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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