Suriname – keep cool, don’t worry!

Suriname – keep cool, don’t worry!

Suriname (once known as Dutch Guiana) is a sovereign state on the north eastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south. It is the smallest country in South America with a population of just 570,000, half of whom live on the country’s north coast, in and around the capital and only city, Paramaribo.

The country gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975 and Dutch is the official language, used in education, government, business and the media. Over 60% of the population speaks Dutch as a mother tongue and most of the rest speak it as a second language. Suriname is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the Americas. of

Since the 1990s, the economy has become more diversified and less dependent on Dutch financial assistance. Bauxite (the world’s main source of aluminium) mining is a strong revenue source and the discovery of oil and gold has added substantially to the country’s economic independence.

Agriculture, especially rice and bananas, remains a strong component of the economy and
about a quarter of the people work in the agricultural sector. Principal trade partners are the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, and Caribbean countries, mainly Trinidad and Tobago and the former islands of the Netherlands Antilles.

Suriname has great potential for tourism, boasting rainforests, abundant wildlife and colonial architecture in the capital. But the sector has been slow to develop, hampered by the inaccessibility of the interior and the lack of infrastructure.

Women are mainly employed in the informal sector and subsistence agriculture. In general, women cannot claim equal status although in many Creole groups they are the emotional and economic centre of the household.

A typical, mainly urban Creole, expression is “No span” (“Keep cool; don’t worry”), symbolising the generally relaxed atmosphere. The population has a reputation for being hospitable, and most houses do not have a knocker or a bell.

Share any Suriname business experiences you have had.

Sources: Wikipedia,,

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