Suriname - Tips

Suriname Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
June 2007

Background Note: Suriname

Flag of Suriname is five horizontal bands of green - top, double width;
white; red - quadruple width; white; and green - double width; a large,
yellow, five-pointed star is centered in red band.


Republic of Suriname

Area: 163,194 sq. km. (63,037 sq. mi.); slightly larger than Georgia.
Cities: Capital--Paramaribo (pop. 242,946). Other cities--Nieuw Nickerie,
Moengo, Brownsweg, Albina.
Terrain: Rain forest, savanna, coastal swamps, hills.
Climate: Tropical.

Nationality: Noun--Surinamer(s). Adjective--Surinamese.
Population (2004 census): 492,829.
Annual growth rate (2004): 1.30%.
Ethnic groups: Hindustani (East Indian) 27%, Creole 18%, Javanese 15%, Maroon
15%, Mixed 12.5%, Amerindians 3.7%, Chinese 1.8% (percentages from 2004
Religions: Hindu, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Moravian, several
other Christian denominations, Jewish, Baha'i.
Languages: Dutch (official), English, Sranan Tongo (Creole language),
Hindustani, Javanese.
Education: Years compulsory--ages 6-12. Literacy--90%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2004)--7 per 1,000. Life expectancy (2003)--71
Work force (100,000): Government--35%; private sector--41%; parastatal
companies--10%; unemployed--14%.

Type: Constitutional democracy.
Constitution: September 30, 1987.
Independence: November 25, 1975.
Branches: Executive--president, vice president, Council of Ministers.
Legislative--elected 51-member National Assembly made up of representatives
of political parties. Judicial--Court of Justice.
Administrative subdivisions: 10 districts.
Political parties: Governing coalition--National Party of Suriname (NPS);
Progressive Reform Party (VHP); Pertjaja Luhur; A - Combination, a coalition
of General Interior Development Party (ABOP), Brotherhood and Unity in
Politics (BEP), and Seeka; Suriname Workers Party (SPA); Democratic
Alternative '91 (DA' 91). Other parties in the National Assembly--National
Democratic Party (NDP), Democratic National Platform 2000 (DNP 2000),
Alternative 1 (A1), Party for Renewal and Development (BVD), Javanese
Indonesian Peasants Party (KTPI).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

GDP (2006 est.): U.S. $2.11 billion.
Annual growth rate real GDP (2006 est.): 5.8%.
Per capita GDP (2006 est.): U.S. $4,000.
Inflation (2006): 5.6%.
Natural resources: Bauxite, gold, oil, iron ore, other minerals; forests;
hydroelectric potential; fish and shrimp.
Agriculture: Products--rice, bananas, timber, and citrus fruits.
Industry: Types--alumina, oil, gold, fish, shrimp, lumber.
Trade (2005): Exports--U.S. $929.1 million: alumina, gold, crude oil, wood
and wood products, rice, bananas, fish, and shrimp. Major markets--Norway
(23.9%), U.S. (16.8%), Canada (16.4%), France (8.1%), Iceland (2.9%). Imports
--$1.1 billion: capital equipment, petroleum, iron and steel products,
agricultural products, and consumer goods. Major suppliers--U.S. (24.4%),
Netherlands (14.5%), Trinidad and Tobago (10.5%), Japan (4.3%), China (5.4%),
Brazil (3.6%).

Most Surinamese live in the narrow, northern coastal plain. The population is
one of the most ethnically diverse in the world. Each ethnic group preserves
its own culture, and many institutions, including political parties, tend to
follow ethnic lines. Informal relationships vary: the upper classes of all
ethnic backgrounds mix freely; outside of the elite, social relations tend to
remain within ethnic groupings. All groups may be found in schools and the

Arawak and Carib tribes lived in the region before Columbus sighted the coast
in 1498. Spain officially claimed the area in 1593, but Spanish and
Portuguese explorers of the time gave the area little attention. Dutch
settlement began in 1616 at the mouths of several rivers between present-day
Georgetown, Guyana, and Cayenne, French Guiana.

Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. The new colony, Dutch Guiana, did not
thrive. Historians cite several reasons for this, including Holland's
preoccupation with its more extensive (and profitable) East Indian
territories, violent conflict between whites and native tribes, and frequent
uprisings by the imported slave population, which was often treated with
extraordinary cruelty. Barely, if at all, assimilated into plantation
society, many of the slaves fled to the interior, where they maintained a
West African culture and established the five major Bush Negro tribes in
existence today: the Djuka, Saramaccaner, Matuwari, Paramaccaner, and Quinti.

Plantations steadily declined in importance as labor costs rose. Rice,
bananas, and citrus fruits replaced the traditional crops of sugar, coffee,
and cocoa. Exports of gold rose beginning in 1900. The Dutch government gave
little financial support to the colony. Suriname's economy was transformed in
the years following World War I, when an American firm (ALCOA) began
exploiting bauxite deposits in East Suriname. Bauxite processing and then
alumina production began in 1916. During World War II, more than 75% of U.S.
bauxite imports came from Suriname.

In 1951, Suriname began to acquire a growing measure of autonomy from the
Netherlands. Suriname became an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands on December 15, 1954, and gained independence, with Dutch
consent, on November 25, 1975.

Most of Suriname's political parties took shape during the autonomy period
and were overwhelmingly based on ethnicity. For example, the National Party
of Suriname found its support among the Creoles, the Progressive Reform Party
members came from the Hindustani population, and the Indonesian Peasant's
Party was Javanese. Other smaller parties found support by appealing to
voters on an ideological or pro-independence platform; the Partij
Nationalistische Republiek (PNR) was among the most important. Its members
pressed most strongly for independence and for the introduction of leftist
political and economic measures. Many former PNR members would go on to play
a key role following the coup of February 1980.

Suriname was a parliamentary democracy in the years immediately following
independence. Henk Arron became the first Prime Minister and was re-elected
in 1977. On February 25, 1980, 16 noncommissioned officers overthrew the
elected government, which many accused of inefficiency and mismanagement. The
military-dominated government then suspended the constitution, dissolved the
legislature, and formed a regime that ruled by decree. Although a civilian
filled the post of president, a military man, Desi Bouterse, actually ruled
the country.

Throughout 1982, pressure grew for a return to civilian rule. In early
December 1982, military authorities cracked down, arresting and killing 15
prominent opposition leaders, including journalists, lawyers, and trade union

Following the murders, the United States and the Netherlands suspended
economic and military cooperation with the Bouterse regime, which
increasingly began to follow an erratic but often leftist-oriented political
course. The regime restricted the press and limited the rights of its
citizens. The economy declined rapidly after the suspension of economic aid
from the Netherlands.

Continuing economic decline brought pressure for change. During the 1984-87
period, the Bouterse regime tried to end the crisis by appointing a
succession of nominally civilian-led cabinets. Many figures in the government
came from the traditional political parties that had been shoved aside during
the coup. The military eventually agreed to free elections in 1987, a new
constitution, and a civilian government.

Another pressure for change had erupted in July 1986, when a Maroon
insurgency, led by former soldier Ronnie Brunswijk, began attacking economic
targets in the country's interior. In response, the army ravaged villages and
killed suspected Brunswijk supporters. Thousands of Maroons fled to nearby
French Guiana. In an effort to end the bloodshed, the Surinamese Government
negotiated a peace treaty, called the Kourou Accord, with Brunswijk in 1989.
However, Bouterse and other military leaders blocked the accord's

On December 24, 1990, military officers forced the resignations of the
civilian President and Vice President elected in 1987. Military-selected
replacements were hastily approved by the National Assembly on December 29.
Faced with mounting pressure from the U.S., other nations, the Organization
of American States (OAS), and other international organizations, the
government held new elections on May 25, 1991. The New Front (NF) Coalition,
comprised of the Creole-based National Party of Suriname (NPS), the
Hindustani-based Progressive Reform Party (VHP), the Javanese-based
Indonesian Peasant's Party (KTPI), and the labor-oriented Surinamese Workers
Party (SPA) were able to win a majority in the National Assembly. On
September 6, 1991, NPS candidate Ronald Venetiaan was elected President, and
the VHP's Jules Ajodhia became Vice President.

The Venetiaan government was able to effect a settlement to Suriname's
domestic insurgency through the August 1992 Peace Accord with Bush Negro and
Amerindian rebels. In April 1993, Desi Bouterse left his position as
commander of the armed forces and was replaced by Arthy Gorre, a military
officer committed to bringing the armed forces under civilian government
control. Economic reforms instituted by the Venetiaan government eventually
helped curb inflation, unify the official and unofficial exchange rates, and
improve the government's economic situation by re-establishing relations with
the Dutch, thereby opening the way for a major influx of Dutch financial
assistance. Despite these successes, the governing coalition lost support and
failed to retain control of the government in the subsequent round of
national elections. The rival National Democratic Party (NDP), founded in the
early 1990s by Desi Bouterse, benefited from the New Front government's loss
of popularity. The NDP won more National Assembly seats (16 of 51) than any
other party in the May 1996 national elections, and in September, 1996,
joined with the KTPI, dissenters from the VHP, and several smaller parties to
elect NDP vice chairman Jules Wijdenbosch president of an NDP-led coalition
government. Divisions and subsequent reshufflings of coalition members in the
fall of 1997 and early 1998 weakened the coalition's mandate and slowed
legislative action.

In May 1999, after mass demonstrations protesting poor economic conditions,
the government was forced to call early elections. The elections in May 2000
returned Ronald Venetiaan and his New Front coalition to the presidency. The
NF based its campaign on a platform to fix the faltering Surinamese economy.

In the national election held on May 25, 2005, the ruling NF coalition
suffered a significant setback due to widespread dissatisfaction with the
state of the economy and the public perception that the NF had produced few
tangible gains. The NF won just 23 seats, falling short of a majority in the
National Assembly, and immediately entered into negotiations with the
Maroon-based "A" Combination and the A-1 Coalition to form a working
majority. Desi Bouterse's NDP more than doubled its representation in the
National Assembly, winning 15 seats. Bouterse, the NDP's declared
presidential candidate, withdrew from the race days before the National
Assembly convened to vote for the next president and tapped his running mate,
Rabin Parmessar, to run as the NDP's candidate. In the National Assembly, the
NF challenged Parmessar's Surinamese citizenship, displaying copies of a
Dutch passport issued to Parmessar in 2004. Parmessar was eventually allowed
to stand for election, and parliament later confirmed his Surinamese
citizenship. After two votes, no candidate received the required two-thirds
majority, pushing the final decision in August 2005 to a special session of
the United People's Assembly, where President Venetiaan was reelected with a
significant majority of votes from the local, district, and national assembly
members gathered. His running mate, Ramdien Sardjoe, was elected as vice
president. While the Venetiaan administration has made progress in
stabilizing the economy, tensions within the coalition have impeded progress
and stymied legislative action.

The Republic of Suriname is a constitutional democracy based on the 1987
constitution. The legislative branch of government consists of a 51-member
unicameral National Assembly, simultaneously and popularly elected for a
5-year term.

The executive branch is headed by the president, who is elected by a
two-thirds majority of the National Assembly or, failing that, by a majority
of the People's Assembly for a 5-year term. If at least two-thirds of the
National Assembly cannot agree to vote for one presidential candidate, a
People's Assembly is formed from all National Assembly delegates and regional
and municipal representatives who were elected by popular vote in the most
recent national election. A vice president, normally elected at the same time
as the president, needs a simple majority in the National Assembly or
People's Assembly to be elected for a 5-year term. As head of government, the
president appoints a cabinet of ministers. There is no constitutional
provision for removal or replacement of the president unless he resigns.

A 15-member State Advisory Council advises the president in the conduct of
policy. Eleven of the 15 council seats are allotted by proportional
representation of all political parties represented in the National Assembly.
The president chairs the council; two seats are allotted to representatives
of labor, and two are allotted to employers' organizations.

The judiciary is headed by the Court of Justice (Supreme Court). This court
supervises the magistrate courts. Members are appointed for life by the
president in consultation with the National Assembly, the State Advisory
Council, and the National Order of Private Attorneys.

The country is divided into 10 administrative districts, each headed by a
district commissioner appointed by the president. The commissioner is similar
to the governor of a U.S. State but serves at the president's pleasure.

Principal Government Officials
President--Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan
Vice President--Ramdien Sardjoe
Foreign Minister--Lygia Kraag-Keteldijk
Ambassador to U.S.--Jaques R. Kross
Ambassador to UN--Henry MacDonald
Ambassador to OAS--Jaques R. Kross

Suriname maintains an embassy in the United States at 4301 Connecticut Ave,
NW, Suite 460, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-244-7488; fax 202-244-5878).
There also is a Suriname consulate general at 7235 NW 19th St., Suite A,
Miami, FL 33136 (tel. 305-593-2163).

Surinamese armed forces consist of the national army under the control of the
Minister of Defense and a smaller civil police force, which is responsible to
the Minister of Justice and Police. The national armed forces comprise some
2,200 personnel, the majority of whom are deployed as light infantry security
forces. A small air force, navy, and military police also exist. The
Netherlands has provided limited military assistance to the Surinamese armed
forces since the election of a democratic government in 1991. In recent
years, the U.S. has provided training to military officers and policymakers
to promote a better understanding of the role of the military in a civilian
government, and also offers significant humanitarian aid. Since the
mid-1990s, the People's Republic of China has been donating military
equipment and logistical material to the Surinamese Armed Forces. The
Netherlands, France, Venezuela, and Brazil also have working relationships
with the Surinamese military.

Suriname's borders are porous; largely uninhabited, unguarded, and ungoverned
rain forest and rivers make up the eastern, western, and southern borders,
and the navy's capability to police Suriname's northern Atlantic coast is
limited. Protecting natural resources from illegal exploitation such as
unlicensed gold mining is difficult, and significant tax revenue is lost.
Porous borders also make Suriname a target for transshipment of drugs. Since
2000, arrests and prosecutions of drug smugglers have increased, partially
due to funding and training for police capacity through the U.S. State
Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.

Suriname's economy has been dominated by the exports of alumina, oil, and
gold. Other export products include bananas, shrimp and fish, rice, and
lumber. In 2006 alumina accounted for approximately 46.2% of total exports.
Government income from the oil sector, however, has surpassed that of the
bauxite/alumina sector. Suriname's bauxite deposits have been among the
world's richest. Active in Suriname since 1916, SURALCO, a subsidiary of the
Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), has had a long-standing working
relationship with the Australian-owned BHP Billiton.

After two years and an investment of approximately U.S. $130 million, BHP
Billiton officially commenced its mining activities at the Kaaimangrasie and
Klaverblad mines in 2006. These mines are expected to provide enough bauxite
to cover the transition between the closing of the depleted Lelydorp Mine and
the possible opening of a mine in the Bakhuis area with estimated reserves of
300 to 400 metric tons. Other proven reserves, sufficient to last until 2045,
exist in the east, west, and north of the country. However, distance and
topography make their immediate development costly. The government is
currently in negotiations with SURALCO and BHP Billiton over the exploitation
rights for the Bakhuis region. Parties expect to have a new bauxite agreement
signed by 2008, with the companies commencing activities in that region in
either 2010 or 2011.

The severe shortage of affordable energy sources has hampered Suriname's
ability to expand its industries. This goes for the bauxite sector as well.
Currently running on diesel-fueled generators, SURALCO has indicated that any
expansion of operations to include mining and refining reserves from West
Suriname will depend on Suriname expanding its energy-generating sources. To
alleviate some of Suriname's energy woes, the state-owned oil company,
Staatsolie, built a 14 megawatt (MW) diesel-generated energy plant in 2006.
In its most recently updated expansion plan, the company intends to expand
the capacity of the plant to 18 MW.

The gold mining sector is largely informal, unregulated, and small scale, but
constitutes an important part of the informal economy (estimated at as much
as 100% of GDP), and must be brought into the realm of tax and environmental
authorities. In the official sector the Gross Rosebel Goldmines, wholly owned
by the Canadian firm IAMGOLD, commenced its operations in 2004 and
immediately positioned itself as the most productive and low-cost of all
mines owned by IAMGOLD. A new player in the Surinamese gold sector is the
U.S. firm Newmont Mining Corporation. Working in a joint venture with
SURALCO, the company has indicated that it will be seeking a production
license from the Government of Suriname by 2008. Newmont wants to be
operational by 2010. The reserves in the company's concession area are
estimated to be 300 million troy ounces.

Suriname has also attracted the attention of international companies
interested in extensive development of a tropical hardwoods industry and
possible diamond mining. However, proposals for exploitation of the country's
tropical forests and undeveloped regions of the interior traditionally
inhabited by indigenous and Maroon communities have raised the concerns of
environmentalists and human rights activists in Suriname and abroad.

The sector with the most promising outlook for rapid, near future expansion
is the oil sector. A 2000 study by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that
there may be up 15 billion barrels of oil in the Guyana Plateau. The
state-owned oil company, Staatsolie, is by law the only company with the
right to operate in Suriname's oil sector. Other companies can only access
the market through production sharing agreements with Staatsolie. With its
current output at 14,000 barrels per day (bpd), Staatsolie announced a robust
expansion plan titled "Vision 2020" that will seek to expand output to 18,000
bpd by 2012. Staatsolie also plans to expand its onshore exploration research
in order to increase reserves by 30 million barrels per five years. In order
to reach this goal, the company signed a production sharing agreement with
the Australian company Hardman Resources. Staatsolie further intends to
establish and develop near shore reserves. In its offshore activities the
company signed a production sharing agreements with the Spanish Repsol YPF
(2004), the Danish Maersk Oil (2004), and the American Occidental Petroleum
Corporation (2005). A second U.S. firm, Murphy Corporation, is expected to
sign a production sharing agreement with Staatsolie for offshore activities.
Staatsolie expects 2008 to become the high point for Suriname's offshore oil
activities, with Repsol YPF drilling its first test well. In its "Vision
2020" Staatsolie also announced major expansion plans for its downstream
market. The company wants to expand its refining capacity from 7,000 bpd to
15,000 bpd. Staatsolie also plans to put up its own retail business.

In an effort to address the problem of Suriname's ailing 110 parastatals, the
government has introduced a plan that would strengthen them, after which they
would be privatized. The first parastatals chosen for this experiment were
the banana company, Surland, the wood processing company, Bruynzeel, and the
rice company, SML. After closing for more than seven months in 2002, the
banana company was reopened under the new name SBBS. After an initial attempt
to privatize the company failed in 2005, the government continued the
restructuring of the company. With heavy financing from the European Union
the company has been revitalized, but is not yet out of debt. In 2006 SBBS
produced and exported at record quantities. The management of the company is
currently in the hands of a French company. The government has not announced
any new plans for privatizing the company. The privatization attempt of the
wood processing company, Bruynzeel, has failed. After months of negotiations,
a memorandum of understanding, a letter of intent, and opposition protests
against the deal, the government and the Dutch company Doorwin failed to
reach an agreement on the terms of sale. The government is currently
considering its options with this company. A British investment firm, the
Emerald Investment Group, has expressed an interest in the company and has
made a tentative offer to the government for Bruynzeel. The government has
not indicated what it plans to do with the company. The restructuring of the
heavily indebted rice company SML has failed. The company has also
continuously been involved in legal proceedings brought by one of its largest
creditors. In May 2007 the government announced that it would go ahead with
the sale of the company. A call for proposals was published in the daily
newspapers. Indications are that the government might go ahead and accept any
bid that would cover the company's extensive debt.

Since gaining independence, Suriname has become a member of the United
Nations, the OAS, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Suriname is a member of the
Caribbean Community and Common Market and the Association of Caribbean
States; it is associated with the European Union through the Lome Convention.
The Netherlands remains Suriname's biggest donor, but it has been surpassed
by the U.S. as a trade partner. Suriname participates in the Amazonian Pact,
a grouping of the countries of the Amazon Basin that focuses on protection of
the Amazon region's natural resources from environmental degradation.
Reflecting its status as a major bauxite producer, Suriname is also a member
of the International Bauxite Association. The country also belongs to the
Economic Commission for Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank,
the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank, and the International
Monetary Fund. Suriname became a member of the Islamic Development Bank in

At independence, Suriname signed an agreement with the Netherlands providing
for about $1.5 billion in development assistance grants and loans over a 10-
to 15-year period. Initial disbursements amounted to about $100 million per
year, but were discontinued during military rule. After the return to a
democratically elected government in 1991, Dutch aid resumed. The Dutch
relationship continued to be an important factor in the economy; with the
Dutch insisting that Suriname undertake economic reforms and produce specific
plans acceptable to the Dutch for projects on which aid funds could be spent.
In 2000, the Dutch revised the structure of their aid package and signaled to
the Surinamese authorities their decision to disburse aid by sectoral
priorities as opposed to individual projects. In 2001 both governments agreed
to spend the remaining development funds to finance programs in 6 different
sectors: health care, education, environment, agriculture, housing and

Relations with the Dutch have been complicated by Dutch prosecution of Desi
Bouterse in absentia on drug charges, and by legal maneuvering by Dutch
prosecutors trying to bring charges relating to the December 1982 murders. (A
Dutch appellate court in 2000 found Bouterse guilty of one drug-related
charge; the decision was upheld on appeal.)

Bilateral agreements with several countries of the region, covering diverse
areas of cooperation, have underscored the government's interest in
strengthening regional ties. The return to Suriname from French Guiana of
about 8,000 refugees of the 1986-91 civil war between the military and
domestic insurgents has improved relations with French authorities.
Longstanding border disputes with Guyana and French Guiana remain unresolved.
Negotiations with the Government of Guyana brokered by the Jamaican Prime
Minister in 2000 did not produce an agreement, but the countries agreed to
restart talks after Guyanese national elections in 2001. In January 2002, the
presidents of Suriname and Guyana met in Suriname and agreed to resume
negotiations, establishing the Suriname-Guyana border commission. In 2004
Guyana brought Suriname before the United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea in the case regarding the maritime border dispute; a decision is
expected in 2007. An earlier dispute with Brazil ended amicably after formal
demarcation of the border.

Since the reestablishment of a democratic, elected government in 1991, the
United States has maintained positive and mutually beneficial relations with
Suriname based on the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, rule
of law, and civilian authority over the military. To further strengthen civil
society and bolster democratic institutions, the U.S. has provided training
regarding appropriate roles for the military in civil society to some of
Suriname's military officers and decision makers. In addition, Narcotics
trafficking organizations are channeling increasing quantities of cocaine
through Suriname for repackaging and transport to Europe and the United
States, and of ecstasy for transport to the United States. To assist Suriname
in the fight against drugs and associated criminal activity, the U.S. has
helped train Surinamese anti-drug squad personnel. The U.S. and Suriname also
have significant partnerships in fighting trafficking in persons and money

Since 2000, the U.S. has donated a criminal records database to the police as
well as computers, vehicles, and radio equipment. Projects through which the
U.S. has supported the judicial system include case management and computer
hardware donation. Along with training projects, these programs have led to a
strong relationship with law enforcement entities in Suriname.

The U.S. Peace Corps in Suriname works with the Ministry of Regional
Development and rural communities to encourage community development in
Suriname's interior.

Suriname is densely forested, and increased interest in large-scale
commercial logging and mining in Suriname's interior have raised
environmental concerns. The U.S. Forest Service, the Smithsonian, and
numerous non-governmental environmental organizations have promoted technical
cooperation with Suriname's government to prevent destruction of the
country's tropical rain forest, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the
world. U.S. experts have worked closely with local natural resource officials
to encourage sustainable development of the interior and alternatives such as
ecotourism. On December 1, 2000, UNESCO designated the 1.6-million hectare
Central Suriname Nature Reserve a World Heritage site. Suriname's tourism
sector remains a minor part of the economy, and tourist infrastructure is
limited (in 2004, some 145,000 foreign tourists visited Suriname).

Suriname's efforts in recent years to liberalize economic policy created new
possibilities for U.S. exports and investments. The U.S. remains one of
Suriname's principal trading partners, largely due to ALCOA's longstanding
investment in Suriname's bauxite mining and processing industry. Several U.S.
corporations represented by Surinamese firms acting as dealers are active in
Suriname, largely in the mining, consumer goods, and service sectors.
Principal U.S. exports to Suriname include chemicals, vehicles, machine
parts, meat, and wheat. U.S. consumer products are increasingly available
through Suriname's many trading companies. Opportunities for U.S. exporters,
service companies, and engineering firms will probably expand over the next

Suriname is looking to U.S. and other foreign investors to assist in the
commercial development of its vast natural resources and to help finance
infrastructure improvements. Enactment of a new investment code and
intellectual property rights protection legislation which would strengthen
Suriname's attractiveness to investors has been discussed; the investment law
was approved by the National Assembly and is currently being revised by the
Ministry of Finance.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Lisa Bobbie Schreiber Hughes
Deputy Chief of Mission--Thomas Genton
Military Liaison Officer--Willard T. Green LCDR
Political/Economic Office--Jesse L. Sanders
Management Officer--David Lamontagne
Consular Officer--Gwendolyn S. Webb
Police Attaché--Susan Nave
Regional Security Officer--Jason Kight
Peace Corps Country Director--Ann Conway

The U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo is located at Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129,
P.O. Box 1821, Paramaribo, Suriname (tel. 597-472900, 597-476459; fax: 597-

Other Contact Information
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
14th and Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-1658, 202-USA-TRADE
Fax: 202-482-0464

Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA)
1818 N Street, NW Suite 310
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-466-7464
Fax: 202-822-0075

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Office of Caribbean Affairs
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC
Tel: 202-647-4719

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The National Passport Information Center (NPIC) is the U.S. Department of
State's single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport
information. Telephone: 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778). Customer service
representatives and operators for TDD/TTY are available Monday-Friday, 7:00
a.m. to 12:00 midnight, Eastern Time, excluding federal holidays.

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 877-FYI-TRIP
(877-394-8747) and a web site at give the
most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements,
and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A
booklet entitled "Health Information for International Travel" (HHS
publication number CDC-95-8280) is available from the U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.

Further Electronic Information
Department of State Web Site. Available on the Internet at http://, the Department of State web site provides timely, global
access to official U.S. foreign policy information, including Background
Notes and daily press briefings along with the directory of key officers of
Foreign Service posts and more. The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
provides security information and regional news that impact U.S. companies
working abroad through its website provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market
information offered by the federal government and provides trade leads, free
export counseling, help with the export process, and more.
STAT-USA/Internet, a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides
authoritative economic, business, and international trade information from
the Federal government. The site includes current and historical
trade-related releases, international market research, trade opportunities,
and country analysis and provides access to the National Trade Data Bank. ***********************************************************
See for all Background notes
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