World Bank launches first country partnership strategy in Suriname in 30 years
The World Bank Group’s board of executive directors has discussed a new country partnership strategy (CPS) for Suriname for 2015-2018. This is the first comprehensive strategy in 30 years.
The new strategy proposes a lending program of about US$60 million to support Suriname’s efforts in leveraging and sustaining its economic growth through greater social inclusiveness and economic diversification.
“Economic growth in the last decade has been strong, but highly dependent on the mining sector. This Country Partnership Strategy and our collaboration with the World Bank Group and other renowned international financial institutions will support our efforts for more sustainable growth, with better opportunities for all,” said Suriname’s Governor of the Central Bank, Gillmore Hoefdraad.
Over the last decade, Suriname has emerged as one of the Caribbean’s best performers in terms of economic growth. However, 30 percent of exports and employment are linked to the extraction, processing and trading of gold, oil and bauxite. In addition, the country is highly vulnerable to climate change and the rise in sea levels.
“While Suriname has recorded an average growth of 4.4 percent between 2000 and 2012, poverty remains prevalent, especially in the interior areas, and development progress is highly vulnerable to climatic disasters,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.”
“This renewed partnership reflects a common effort to boost an inclusive private sector growth and build climate resilience,” she added.
Guided by the priorities of the government’s national development plan, the World Bank Group’s two main areas of support are:
• Improving the business climate by reducing the time needed for an entrepreneur to clear customs, improving access to finance through simplified business regulation and procedures, as well as adopting modern standards for financial reporting transparency.
• In the extractive industries sector, the WBG will focus on disseminating good practices in the areas of transparency, benefit sharing and environment and social impact. While in the agribusiness sector, the WBG will focus on improving environment standards and quality of production.
• Reducing vulnerability to climate change related floods by adopting a comprehensive flood risk management plan focused on the northern coast of Paramaribo, which is highly exposed to floods and erosion. The Government has taken some important risk reduction measures and is looking to scale up its intervention to protect the banks of the Suriname’s river along the city of Paramaribo and improve its urban drainage system. In addition, the WBG will also assist Suriname in better managing the financial cost of natural disasters, for instance through the possibility of participating in the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).
As a cross-cutting theme, the country partnership strategy also aims to improve the country’s capacity to measure and analyze data on poverty and gender for informed policy making. In partnership with the ministry of finance and other donors, the Bank will work with the Bureau of Statistics of Suriname to conduct a comprehensive poverty and gender diagnostic.
The CPS lays out the WBG partnership program with Suriname, jointly prepared by the government of Suriname and the World Bank Group, comprised by the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector, is currently supporting the establishment of Suriname’s first credit reporting system to increase access to finance for underserved borrowers and small businesses. In mid-2012 IFC provided a trade financing credit line of up to US$5 million to boost Surinaamsche Bank’s international trade business. IFC is currently actively exploring investment and advisory opportunities in Suriname.
“IFC stands ready to be a partner for Suriname’s private sector, with the aim of supporting the country’s competitiveness and improving the business climate,” said Jun Zhang, IFC senior manager for the Caribbean. “IFC will focus on developing market opportunities in the financial sector, agribusiness and mining, as well as public-private partnerships.”
This partnership was developed in close partnership with the Surinamese government and in consultation with key private sector, academia, parliament, civil society and external development partners.