The World Bank Group approved a US$23 million loan to support good international practices for sector governance and promote sector diversification in Suriname. This operation will contribute to private sector growth opportunities, boost job creation, and benefit more than 200 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Competitiveness and Sector Diversification Project will finance a combination of investments to enhance productivity of SMEs, and technical support to help improve the investment climate for agribusiness and tourism. It will also finance technical assistance for institutional strengthening and regulatory reforms in the mining sector.
“The World Bank Group will support Suriname’s efforts towards developing a more competitive and resilient economy to increase growth and boost prosperity. The project will support governance improvements in key sectors, and help create more employment opportunities for men and women in the private sector,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
Suriname is an upper-middle-income country that is vulnerable to economic shocks. Extractive industries account for around 30 per cent of GDP and as much as 90 per cent of exports. They play a dominant role in driving growth, employment, and government revenues.
The project aims to facilitate opportunities for growth and diversification in agribusiness, tourism, and other emerging industries, especially for SMEs. SMEs account for 98 per cent of all firms in Suriname and 60 per cent of total private sector employment.
Agribusiness and tourism offer competitive opportunities to attract private investment and diversify the economy. The project will also support improved governance, transparency, accountability, and administration of the mining sector, including better management of environmental and social impacts.
The project has been prepared in close collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Project implementation will be carried out by the Ministries of Trade, Industry and Tourism and of Natural Resources.
This is the second World Bank financed project in Suriname, following the approval of the $30 million Saramacca Canal System Rehabilitation Project in February 2019.