Bilateral relations are mostly untroubled. Cooperation focuses on individual development cooperation and cultural projects and work within the United Nations framework. An annual 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 gas and oil exploration rights in Suriname’s coastal waters. For a long time, the country’s wealth of natural resources (oil, gold, bauxite) was not used to improve the living conditions of large sections of the population. Also, falling commodity prices have led to a significant decline in production. Despite positive economic development, annual per capita income is only around 6500 US dollars. In the hinterland, the poverty rate is estimated at 30 percent.
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 closely in Suriname and in the entire region against the background of the ongoing negotiations on the EU’s new partnership agreement with the states of Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean (Post-Cotonou Agreement).
Suriname is not a member of the Paris Club and is therefore attempting to obtain a debt cancellation from its creditors on a bilateral basis.
In development cooperation, Suriname has indirect links with Germany through German agreements with 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.
The next parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on 25 May 2020.