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Suriname vs. Guyana

Introduction

SurinameGuyana
BackgroundFirst 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 African slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. The Netherlands granted the colony independence in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared Suriname 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 coalition - returned to power in 1991. The coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005 and ruled until August 2010, when voters returned former military leader Desire BOUTERSE and his opposition coalition to power. President BOUTERSE was reelected unopposed in 2015.
Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to settlement of urban areas by former slaves and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. The resulting ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was elected in 2001 and again in 2006. Early elections held in May 2015 resulted in the first change in governing party and the replacement of President Donald RAMOTAR by current President David GRANGER

Geography

SurinameGuyana
LocationNorthern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Geographic coordinates4 00 N, 56 00 W
5 00 N, 59 00 W
Map referencesSouth America
South America
Areatotal: 163,820 sq km
land: 156,000 sq km
water: 7,820 sq km
total: 214,969 sq km
land: 196,849 sq km
water: 18,120 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Georgia
slightly smaller than Idaho
Land boundariestotal: 1,907 km
border countries (3): Brazil 515 km, French Guiana 556 km, Guyana 836 km
total: 2,933 km
border countries (3): Brazil 1,308 km, Suriname 836 km, Venezuela 789 km
Coastline386 km
459 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
Climatetropical; moderated by trade winds
tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)
Terrainmostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps
mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 246 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m
mean elevation: 207 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m
Natural resourcestimber, hydropower, fish, kaolin, shrimp, bauxite, gold, and small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum, iron ore
bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Land useagricultural land: 0.5%
arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 0.1%
forest: 94.6%
other: 4.9% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 8.4%
arable land 2.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 6.2%
forest: 77.4%
other: 14.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land570 sq km (2012)
1,430 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsNA
flash flood threat during rainy seasons
Environment - current issuesdeforestation as timber is cut for export; pollution of inland waterways by small-scale mining activities
water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notesmallest 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
the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively
Population distributionpopulation concentrated along the nothern coastal strip; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated
population is heavily concentrated in the northeast in and around Georgetown, with noteable concentrations along the Berbice River to the east; the remainder of the country is sparsely populated

Demographics

SurinameGuyana
Population585,824 (July 2016 est.)
735,909
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.15% (male 75,088/female 72,261)
15-24 years: 17.46% (male 52,129/female 50,141)
25-54 years: 44.36% (male 132,334/female 127,562)
55-64 years: 7.16% (male 20,564/female 21,394)
65 years and over: 5.86% (male 14,848/female 19,503) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 27.12% (male 101,637/female 97,970)
15-24 years: 21.46% (male 81,017/female 76,912)
25-54 years: 37.73% (male 145,003/female 132,640)
55-64 years: 7.9% (male 26,195/female 31,924)
65 years and over: 5.79% (male 17,585/female 25,026) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 29.5 years
male: 29.1 years
female: 29.9 years (2016 est.)
total: 25.8 years
male: 25.5 years
female: 26.2 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.05% (2016 est.)
0.17% (2016 est.)
Birth rate16 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
15.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-6.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 25.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 29.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 31.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 27.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 72.2 years
male: 69.8 years
female: 74.8 years (2016 est.)
total population: 68.4 years
male: 65.4 years
female: 71.5 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.95 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.04 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.08% (2015 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Surinamer(s)
adjective: Surinamese
noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Guyanese
Ethnic groups"Hindustani (also known locally as ""East Indians""; their ancestors emigrated from northern India in the latter part of the 19th century) 27.4%, ""Maroon"" (their African ancestors were brought to the country in the 17th and 18th centuries as slaves and escaped to the interior) 21.7%, Creole (mixed white and black) 15.7%, Javanese 13.7%, mixed 13.4%, other 7.6%, unspecified 0.6% (2012 est.)
"
East Indian 39.8%, black (African) 29.3%, mixed 19.9%, Amerindian 10.5%, other 0.5% (includes Portuguese, Chinese, white) (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS3,800 (2015 est.)
7,800 (2015 est.)
ReligionsProtestant 23.6% (includes Evangelical 11.2%, Moravian 11.2%, Reformed .7%, Lutheran .5%), Hindu 22.3%, Roman Catholic 21.6%, Muslim 13.8%, other Christian 3.2%, Winti 1.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 1.7%, none 7.5%, unspecified 3.2% (2012 est.)
Protestant 34.8% (Pentecostal 22.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 5.2%, Methodist 1.4%), Hindu 24.8%, Roman Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 6.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Rastafarian 0.5%, other Christian 20.8%, other 0.9%, none 3.1% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths100 (2015 est.)
100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesDutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is the native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
English (official), Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indian languages (including Caribbean Hindustani, a dialect of Hindi), Chinese (2014 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.6%
male: 96.1%
female: 95% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 88.5%
male: 87.2%
female: 89.8% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Education expendituresNA
3.2% of GDP (2012)
Urbanizationurban population: 66% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.78% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 28.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.76% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 98.1% of population
rural: 88.4% of population
total: 94.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.9% of population
rural: 11.6% of population
total: 5.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 98.3% of population
total: 98.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 1.7% of population
total: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 88.4% of population
rural: 61.4% of population
total: 79.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 11.6% of population
rural: 38.6% of population
total: 20.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 87.9% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 83.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 12.1% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 16.3% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationPARAMARIBO (capital) 234,000 (2014)
GEORGETOWN (capital) 124,000 (2014)
Maternal mortality rate155 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
229 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight5.8% (2010)
8.5% (2014)
Health expenditures5.7% of GDP (2014)
5.2% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density3.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
2 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate26.1% (2014)
21.9% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 6,094
percentage: 6% (2006 est.)
total number: 30,255
percentage: 16% (2006 est.)
Demographic profileSuriname is a pluralistic society consisting primarily of Creoles (persons of mixed African and European heritage), the descendants of escaped African slaves known as Maroons, and the descendants of Indian and Javanese contract workers. The country overall is in full, post-industrial demographic transition, with a low fertility rate, a moderate mortality rate, and a rising life expectancy. However, the Maroon population of the rural interior lags behind because of lower educational attainment and contraceptive use, higher malnutrition, and significantly less access to electricity, potable water, sanitation, infrastructure, and health care.
Some 350,000 people of Surinamese descent live in the Netherlands, Suriname's former colonial ruler. In the 19th century, better-educated, largely Dutch-speaking Surinamese began emigrating to the Netherlands. World War II interrupted the outflow, but it resumed after the war when Dutch labor demands grew - emigrants included all segments of the Creole population. Suriname still is strongly influenced by the Netherlands because most Surinamese have relatives living there and it is the largest supplier of development aid. Other emigration destinations include French Guiana and the United States. Suriname's immigration rules are flexible, and the country is easy to enter illegally because rainforests obscure its borders. Since the mid-1980s, Brazilians have settled in Suriname's capital, Paramaribo, or eastern Suriname, where they mine gold. This immigration is likely to slowly re-orient Suriname toward its Latin American roots.
Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America and shares cultural and historical bonds with the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana's two largest ethnic groups are the Afro-Guyanese (descendants of African slaves) and the Indo-Guyanese (descendants of Indian indentured laborers), which together comprise about three quarters of Guyana's population. Tensions periodically have boiled over between the two groups, which back ethnically based political parties and vote along ethnic lines. Poverty reduction has stagnated since the late 1990s. About one-third of the Guyanese population lives below the poverty line; indigenous people are disproportionately affected. Although Guyana's literacy rate is reported to be among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, the level of functional literacy is considerably lower, which has been attributed to poor education quality, teacher training, and infrastructure.
Guyana's emigration rate is among the highest in the world - more than 55% of its citizens reside abroad - and it is one of the largest recipients of remittances relative to GDP among Latin American and Caribbean counties. Although remittances are a vital source of income for most citizens, the pervasive emigration of skilled workers deprives Guyana of professionals in healthcare and other key sectors. More than 80% of Guyanese nationals with tertiary level educations have emigrated. Brain drain and the concentration of limited medical resources in Georgetown hamper Guyana's ability to meet the health needs of its predominantly rural population. Guyana has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the region and continues to rely on international support for its HIV treatment and prevention programs.
Contraceptive prevalence rate47.6% (2010)
33.9% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 50.8
youth dependency ratio: 40.4
elderly dependency ratio: 10.4
potential support ratio: 9.6 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.1
youth dependency ratio: 43.5
elderly dependency ratio: 7.6
potential support ratio: 13.2 (2015 est.)

Government

SurinameGuyana
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
etymology: name may derive from the indigenous ""Surinen"" people who inhabited the area at the time of European contact
"
"conventional long form: Cooperative Republic of Guyana
conventional short form: Guyana
former: British Guiana
etymology: the name is derived from Guiana, the original name for the region that included British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, and French Guiana; ultimately the word is derived from an indigenous Amerindian language and means ""Land of Many Waters"" (referring to the area's multitude of rivers and streams)
"
Government typepresidential republic
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Paramaribo
geographic coordinates: 5 50 N, 55 10 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Georgetown
geographic coordinates: 6 48 N, 58 09 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions10 districts (distrikten, singular - distrikt); Brokopondo, Commewijne, Coronie, Marowijne, Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, Sipaliwini, Wanica
10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo
Independence25 November 1975 (from the Netherlands)
26 May 1966 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 25 November (1975)
Republic Day, 23 February (1970)
Constitutionprevious 1975; latest ratified 30 September 1987, effective 30 October 1987; amended 1992 (2016)
several previous; latest promulgated 6 October 1980; amended many times, last in 2016; note - in 2017, Guyana's High Court reversed the constitutional two-term presidential limit (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system influenced by Dutch civil law; note - the Commissie Nieuw Surinaamse Burgerlijk Wetboek completed drafting a new civil code in February 2009
common law system, based on the English model, with some Roman-Dutch civil law influence
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Desire Delano BOUTERSE (since 12 August 2010); Vice President Ashwin ADHIN (since 12 August 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Desire Delano BOUTERSE (since 12 August 2010); Vice President Ashwin ADHIN (since 12 August 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by the National Assembly; president and vice president serve a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 25 May 2015 (next to be held on 25 May 2020)
election results: Desire Delano BOUTERSE reelected president; National Assembly vote - NA
chief of state: President David GRANGER (since 16 May 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President David GRANGER (since 16 May 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly
elections/appointments: the designated leader of the party winning the majority of votes in the last National Assembly election becomes president for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 11 May 2015 (next to be held no later than 2020); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: David GRANGER (APNU-AFC) designated by the majority party in the National Assembly
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Nationale Assemblee (51 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 25 May 2015 (next to be held in May 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - NDP 45.5%, V7 37.2%, A-Com 10.5%, DOE 4.3%, PALU .7%, other 1.7%; seats by party - NDP 26, V7 18, A-Com 5, DOE 1, PALU 1; note - as of 1 April 2017, the current composition of the legislature is as follows: seats by party - NDP 26, VHP 9, Pertjajah Luhur 3, NPS 2, ABOP 5, BEP 2, DOE 1, PALU 1, 2 parliamentarians form an independent faction
description: unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies and a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 May 2015 (next to be held by May 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - APNU-AFC 50.3%, PPP/C 49.19%, other 0.51%; seats by party - APNU-AFC 33, PPP/C 32
Judicial branchhighest resident court(s): High Court of Justice of Suriname (consists of the court president, vice president, and 4 judges); note - appeals beyond the High Court are referred to the Caribbean Court of Justice; human rights violations can be appealed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with judgments issued by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights
judge selection and term of office: court judges appointed by the national president in consultation with the National Assembly, the State Advisory Council, and the Order of Private Attorneys; judges appointed for life
subordinate courts: cantonal courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Judicature (consists of the Court of Appeal with a chief justice and 3 justices, and the High Court with a chief justice and 10 justices organized into 3- or 5-judge panels); note - in 2009, Guyana ceased final appeals in civil and criminal cases to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London), replacing it with the Caribbean Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the Caribbean Community
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president; other judges of both courts appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a body appointed by the president; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Land Court; magistrates' courts
Political parties and leadersAlternative Combination or A-Com (a coalition that includes ABOP, KTPI, PDO)
Brotherhood and Unity in Politics or BEP [Celsius WATERBERG]
Democratic Alternative '91 or DA91 [Angelique DEL CASTILLO]
General Liberation and Development Party or ABOP [Ronnie BRUNSWIJK}
National Democratic Party or NDP [Desire Delano BOUTERSE]
National Party of Suriname or NPS [Gregory RUSLAND]
Party for Democracy and Development in Unity or DOE [Carl BREEVELD]
Party for National Unity and Solidarity or KTPI [Willy SOEMITA]
People's Alliance, Pertjaja Luhur or PL [Paul SOMOHARDJO]
Progressive Worker and Farmer's Union or PALU [Jim HOK]
Surinamese Labor Party or SPA [Guno CASTELEN]
United Reform Party or VHP [Chandrikapersad SANTOKHI]
Victory 7 or V7 (formerly the New Front for Democracy and Development or NF) (a coalition including NPS, VHP, DA91, PL, SPA) [Chandrikapresad SANTOKHI]
note: following the 25 May 2015 election, the the Victory 7, or V7 collaboration of parties dissolved and its component parties became separate parties once again
A Partnership for National Unity or APNU [David A. GRANGER]
Alliance for Change or AFC [Raphael TROTMAN]
Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA]
National Independent Party or NIP [Saphier Husain SUBEDAR]
People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Donald RAMOTAR]
The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR]
United Republican Party or URP [Vishnu BANDHU]
Political pressure groups and leadersAssociation of Indigenous Village Chiefs [Ricardo PANE]
Association of Saramaccan Authorities or Maroon [Head Captain WASE]
Women's Parliament Forum or PVF [Iris GILLIAD]
Amerindian People's Association
Guyana Bar Association
Guyana Citizens Initiative
Guyana Human Rights Association
Guyana Public Service Union or GPSU
Guyana Trans United
Private Sector Commission
Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination or SASOD
Trades Union Congress
International organization participationACP, AOSIS, Caricom, CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Sylvana Elvira SIMSON (since 1 September 2015)
chancery: Suite 460, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-7488
FAX: [1] (202) 244-5878
consulate(s) general: Miami
chief of mission: Ambassador Riyad INSANALLY (since 16 Sept 2016)
chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900
FAX: [1] (202) 232-1297
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Edwin R. NOLAN (since 11 January 2016)
embassy: 165 Kristalstraat, Paramaribo
mailing address: US Department of State, PO Box 1821, Paramaribo
telephone: [597] 472-900
FAX: [597] 410-972
chief of mission: Ambassador Perry L. HOLLOWAY (since 2 October 2015)
embassy: US Embassy, 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
mailing address: P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown; US Embassy, 3170 Georgetown Place, Washington DC 20521-3170
telephone: [592] 225-4900 through 4909
FAX: [592] 225-8497
Flag descriptionfive 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 the red band; red stands for progress and love; green symbolizes hope and fertility; white signifies peace, justice, and freedom; the star represents the unity of all ethnic groups; from its yellow light the nation draws strength to bear sacrifices patiently while working toward a golden future
green with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green; green represents forest and foliage; yellow stands for mineral resources and a bright future; white symbolizes Guyana's rivers; red signifies zeal and the sacrifice of the people; black indicates perseverance
National anthem"name: ""God zij met ons Suriname!"" (God Be With Our Suriname)
lyrics/music: Cornelis Atses HOEKSTRA and Henry DE ZIEL/Johannes Corstianus DE PUY
note: adopted 1959; originally adapted from a Sunday school song written in 1893 and contains lyrics in both Dutch and Sranang Tongo
"
"name: ""Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains""
lyrics/music: Archibald Leonard LUKERL/Robert Cyril Gladstone POTTER
note: adopted 1966
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)royal palm, faya lobi (flower); national colors: green, white, red, yellow
Canje pheasant (hoatzin), jaguar, Victoria Regia water lily; national colors: red, yellow, green, black, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Suriname
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: na

Economy

SurinameGuyana
Economy - overviewSuriname’s economy is dominated by the mining industry, with exports of oil and gold accounting for approximately 85% of exports and 27% of government revenues. This makes the economy highly vulnerable to mineral price volatility. The worldwide drop in international commodity prices and the cessation of alumina mining in Suriname significantly reduced government revenue and national income during the past few years. After 99 years of operations, a major US aluminum company recently discontinued its activities in Suriname. Public sector revenues fell, together with exports, international reserves, employment, and private sector investment.

Economic growth declined annually from just under 5% in 2012 to -10.4% in 2016. In January 2011, the government devalued the currency by 20% and raised taxes to reduce the budget deficit. Suriname began instituting macro adjustments between September 2015 and 2016; these included another 20% currency devaluation in November 2015 and foreign currency interventions by the Central Bank until March 2016, after which time the Bank allowed the Surinamese Dollar (SRD) to float. By December 2016, the SRD had lost 46% of its value against the dollar. High import price pass-through from depreciation and electricity tariff increases caused inflation to increase 55.5% year-over-year in December 2016.

Suriname's economic prospects for the medium-term will depend on continued commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and on the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition. The government's over-reliance on revenue from the extractive sector colors Suriname's economic outlook. One credit bureau forecasted that the economy would contract 2% in 2017. Rising international oil prices and higher production by Suriname’s oil company, Staatsolie’s, will lift oil exports. Two new offshore oil exploration wells will draw 100 million dollars in foreign direct investment inflows. Higher gold prices and increased production from the Merian gold mine also will lift exports. However, investment overall is slowing and unemployment is rising, reflecting government spending cuts, weak business confidence, and the completion of large mining infrastructure projects. Fiscal problems, such as a failure to secure sufficient external financing, could result in additional pressure on the exchange rate and inflation.
The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in recent years and is based largely on agriculture and extractive industries. The economy is heavily dependent upon the export of six commodities - sugar, gold, bauxite, shrimp, timber, and rice - which represent nearly 60% of the country's GDP and are highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in commodity prices. Much of Guyana's growth in recent years has come from a surge in gold production in response to global prices, although downward trends in gold prices may threaten future growth. In 2014, production of sugar dropped to a 24-year low.

Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy in January 2006 broadened the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. Guyana has experienced positive growth almost every year over the past decade. Inflation has been kept under control. Recent years have seen the government's stock of debt reduced significantly - with external debt now less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. Despite recent improvements, the government is still juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana's principal donor, canceled Guyana's nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to 21% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country debt forgiveness, brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 67% in 2015. Guyana had become heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s.

Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$8.547 billion (2016 est.)
$9.188 billion (2015 est.)
$9.216 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$6.051 billion (2016 est.)
$5.857 billion (2015 est.)
$5.675 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-7% (2016 est.)
-0.3% (2015 est.)
1.8% (2014 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
3.2% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,200 (2016 est.)
$16,500 (2015 est.)
$16,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$7,900 (2016 est.)
$7,600 (2015 est.)
$7,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.7%
industry: 49.9%
services: 43.4% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 20.6%
industry: 33.1%
services: 46.3% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line70% (2002 est.)
35% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)52.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
25.1% (31 December 2015 est.)
0.8% (2016 est.)
-0.9% (2015 est.)
Labor force144,000 (2014 est.)
313,800 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 11.2%
industry: 19.5%
services: 69.3% (2010)
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate8.9% (2014 est.)
8.5% (2013 est.)
11.1% (2013)
11.3% (2012)
Budgetrevenues: $469.9 million
expenditures: $664.3 million (2016 est.)
revenues: $899.8 million
expenditures: $1.036 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesbauxite and gold mining, alumina production; oil, lumbering, food processing, fishing
bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Industrial production growth rate-2% (2016 est.)
12% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, bananas, palm kernels, coconuts, plantains, peanuts; beef, chickens; shrimp; forest products
sugarcane, rice, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry; shrimp, fish
Exports$1.699 billion (2016 est.)
$1.666 billion (2015 est.)
$1.15 billion (2016 est.)
$1.17 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesalumina, gold, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas
sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber
Exports - partnersSwitzerland 21.9%, UAE 14.6%, India 13.5%, Belgium 9.7%, US 9%, France 8.1%, Canada 6.6% (2015)
US 33.4%, Canada 17.9%, UK 6.7%, Ukraine 4.3%, Jamaica 4% (2015)
Imports$1.914 billion (2016 est.)
$1.973 billion (2015 est.)
$1.44 billion (2016 est.)
$1.475 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiescapital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods
manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Imports - partnersUS 26.7%, Netherlands 14.3%, China 12.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 7.4%, Japan 4.8% (2015)
US 24.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 24.3%, China 10.8%, Suriname 9.5% (2015)
Debt - external$1.439 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.15 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.303 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.974 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange ratesSurinamese dollars (SRD) per US dollar -
6.172 (2016 est.)
3.4167 (2015 est.)
3.4167 (2014 est.)
3.3 (2013 est.)
3.3 (2012 est.)
Guyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar -
206.6 (2016 est.)
206.5 (2015 est.)
206.5 (2014 est.)
206.45 (2013 est.)
204.36 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt67.8% of GDP (31 December 2016 est.)
53.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$393 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$625.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$547.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$600.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$157 million (2016 est.)
-$808 million (2015 est.)
$120 million (2016 est.)
-$181 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$3.251 billion (2016 est.)
$3.456 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$610.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$440.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$339.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate10% (2013)
9% (2012)
5.5% (31 December 2011)
4.25% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate13.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.62% (31 December 2015 est.)
13% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.83% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.653 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.224 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.566 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.492 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$882.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.231 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$677.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$631 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.461 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.885 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.621 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues11.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
26% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 65.4%
government consumption: 15.2%
investment in fixed capital: 16.2%
investment in inventories: 26.5%
exports of goods and services: 43.7%
imports of goods and services: -40.5% (2015 est.)
household consumption: 82.2%
government consumption: 19.7%
investment in fixed capital: 25.9%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 47.9%
imports of goods and services: -75.7% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving57% of GDP (2016 est.)
51% of GDP (2015 est.)
62.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
18.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
8.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
5.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

SurinameGuyana
Electricity - production2.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption1.9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
800 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production17,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves88.97 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2011 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity400,000 kW (2014 est.)
400,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels41.7% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
96.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants56.9% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources1.4% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
3.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production15,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption17,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
13,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports12,980 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports10,260 bbl/day (2013 est.)
13,250 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy2.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
1.7 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
population without electricity: 154,540
electrification - total population: 79%
electrification - urban areas: 91%
electrification - rural areas: 75% (2012)

Telecommunications

SurinameGuyana
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 85,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 15 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 154,057
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 991,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 171 (July 2015 est.)
total: 543,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 74 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: international facilities are good
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is 185 telephones per 100 persons; microwave radio relay network is in place
international: country code - 597; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2017)
general assessment: reliable international long distance service; 100% digital network; national transmission supported by fiber optic cable and rural network by microwaves; more than 150,000 lines; many areas still lack fixed-line telephone services
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 20 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 75 per 100 persons
international: country code - 592; SIP trunking to most providers; international calls via diverse fiber optic cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2017)
Internet country code.sr
.gy
Internet userstotal: 248,000
percent of population: 42.8% (July 2015 est.)
total: 281,000
percent of population: 38.2% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media2 state-owned TV stations; 1 state-owned radio station; multiple private radio and TV stations (2007)
government-dominated broadcast media; the National Communications Network (NCN) TV is state-owned; a few private TV stations relay satellite services; the state owns and operates 2 radio stations broadcasting on multiple frequencies capable of reaching the entire country; government limits on licensing of new private radio stations has constrained competition in broadcast media (2017)

Transportation

SurinameGuyana
Roadwaystotal: 4,304 km
paved: 1,130 km
unpaved: 3,174 km (2003)
total: 7,970 km
paved: 590 km
unpaved: 7,380 km (2001)
Waterways1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2011)
330 km (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively) (2012)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Paramaribo, Wageningen
major seaport(s): Georgetown
Airports55 (2013)
117 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 49
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 45 (2013)
total: 106
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 89 (2013)

Military

SurinameGuyana
Military branchesSuriname Army (National Leger, NL): Army, Coast Guard, Air Force (2017)
Guyana Defense Force: Army (includes Air Corps, Coast Guard) (2012)
Military service age and obligation18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; personnel drawn almost exclusively from the Creole community (2012)
18 years of age or older for voluntary military service; no conscription (2014)

Transnational Issues

SurinameGuyana
Disputes - internationalarea 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 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea arbitration to resolve the longstanding dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters
all of the area west of the Essequibo River is claimed by Venezuela preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari Rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne
Illicit drugsgrowing transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe via the Netherlands and Brazil; transshipment point for arms-for-drugs dealing
transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to Europe and the US; producer of cannabis; rising money laundering related to drug trafficking and human smuggling
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Suriname is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and men, women, and children subjected to forced labor; women and girls from Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking in the country, sometimes in interior mining camps; migrant workers in agriculture and on fishing boats and children working in informal urban sectors and gold mines are vulnerable to forced labor; traffickers from Suriname exploit victims in the Netherlands
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Suriname does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Suriname was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; authorities increased the number of trafficking investigations, prosecutions, and convictions as compared to 2013, but resources were insufficient to conduct investigations in the country’s interior; more trafficking victims were identified in 2014 than in 2013, but protective services for adults and children were inadequate, with a proposed government shelter for women and child trafficking victims remaining unopened (2015)
current situation: Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor – children are particularly vulnerable; women and girls from Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are forced into prostitution in Guyana’s interior mining communities and urban areas; forced labor is reported in mining, agriculture, forestry, domestic service, and shops; Guyanese nationals are also trafficked to Suriname, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries for sexual exploitation and forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Guyana was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government released its anti-trafficking action plan in June 2014 but made uneven efforts to implement it; law enforcement was weak, investigating seven trafficking cases, prosecuting four alleged traffickers, and convicting one trafficker – a police officer – who was released on bail pending appeal; in 2014, as in previous years, Guyanese courts dismissed the majority of ongoing trafficking prosecutions; the government referred some victims to care services, which were provided by NGOs with little or no government support (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook