(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – A Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimated at US$ 4.6 billion for this year means Suriname’s per capita income will be US$ 9,200, or SRD 27,500. This is 1,000 dollars more than the current figure President Bouterse presented in his annual address to Parliament.
The National Planning Office has calculated a GDP of SRD 15 billion given the growth prospects of Suriname’s economy. Central Bank figures show that due to windfalls caused by the favorable prices for gold and oil, Suriname’s trade balance will show a surplus of around US$ 429 million by the end of this year. “This means Suriname has exported US$ 429 million more than it has imported,” Bouterse explained. The President was visibly pleased with the positive growth figures and the economic prospects for Suriname that have been forecast in recent months by international organizations and institutions. “Suriname is expected to show a constant growth of 4.5% in the coming years,” the President said.
The end of Dutch development aid has turned out not to be a loss, as the government has managed to cover its operational costs with its current revenues. In late June, the total national debt amounted to 27.5% of GDP and foreign currency reserves have grown to US$ 950 million. “And then there’s a country that wants to give us 8 million Euros,” Bouterse joked, a reference to the remaining Dutch development aid that was frozen after his Cabinet took office.