Germany and Suriname: Bilateral relations
Bilateral relations are friendly: cooperation takes place mainly in the form of development-policy and cultural projects and within the United Nations framework. A regular political dialogue has been held between Suriname and the European Union (EU) since 2012.
Although bilateral trade has continuously grown over the past few years, its potential has not yet been fully realised. In 2013, RWE acquired partial oil and gas exploration rights in Suriname’s coastal waters. For a long time, owing to continuing political instabilities, the country’s wealth of natural resources (oil, gold, bauxite) was not used to improve the living conditions of large sections of the population, but recent discoveries of oil off the coast of Suriname are now strengthening the hope of a swift economic upturn as seen in neighbouring Guyana. This coincides with a fresh political start since the assumption of office in May 2020 of the Santokhi Government, which is committed above all to reviving the economy, overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the very high level of inflation, and fighting corruption. Despite positive economic development, annual per capita income is only around 6500 US dollars. In the hinterland, the poverty rate is estimated at 30%.
Cooperation and trade accords exist within the framework of the agreements between the EU and the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) states as well as between the EU and CARIFORUM (CARICOM member states plus the Dominican Republic). The further development of trade relations with the EU is being followed very keenly in Suriname and the entire region against the background of the upcoming signing of the EU’s new partnership agreement with the states of Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean (Post-Cotonou Agreement).
In development cooperation, Suriname has indirect links with Germany through agreements between Germany and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with cooperation focusing on sustainable economic development, the promotion of renewable energy and climate change adaptation. In addition, Germany provides assistance in the region through micro-projects.