- GDP (PPP):
- $9.9 billion
- -2.4% 5-year compound annual growth
- $16,178 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- Public Debt:
Suriname’s economic freedom score is 46.1, making its economy the 163rd freest in the 2023 Index. Its score is 2.0 points lower than last year. Suriname is ranked 29th out of 32 countries in the Americas region, and its overall score is lower than the world and regional averages.
Poor policy choices and uncertainty generated by the weak rule of law have severely weakened the prospects for long-term economic development. Pervasive corruption undermines the judicial system, making it harder to establish a foundation for economic freedom. Little has been done to develop a more dynamic private sector.
The Republic of Suriname is South America’s smallest sovereign state as well as one of its most ethnically diverse and least developed. President Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi was elected to a five-year term in 2020, and his centrist Progressive Reform Party leads a 33-seat parliamentary majority coalition. Corruption and money laundering are widespread. Suriname relies primarily on the extraction of natural resources, and new oil discoveries off the coast are attracting investment. Suriname is an important transit point for cocaine trafficking to Europe from Colombia and Venezuela. It also was one of the first Caribbean countries to establish relations with China.
Rule of Law
The overall rule of law is weak in Suriname. The country’s property rights score is below the world average; its judicial effectiveness score is below the world average; and its government integrity score is below the world average.
The top individual and corporate tax rates are, respectively, 38 percent and 36 percent. The tax burden equals 13.4 percent of GDP. Three-year government spending and budget balance averages are, respectively, 35.9 percent and –13.9 percent of GDP. Public debt equals 125.7 percent of GDP.
The overall freedom to launch and run a business is very limited under Suriname’s regulatory code. The formal labor market is not fully developed, and the public sector remains a major source of employment. The state influences prices through regulations and state-owned enterprises.
The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 12.2 percent, and pervasive nontariff barriers further limit trade freedom. The onerous and nontransparent investment regime continues to deter long-term foreign investment. The financial sector is underdeveloped, and credit decisions are subject to state influence.