Cruising to Suriname

Background

Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to rule through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian government, but a democratically elected government returned to power in 1991.

Geography

Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana
Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N, 56 00 W
Map references: South America
Area: total: 163,270 sq km
Land: 161,470 sq km
Water: 1,800 sq km

Coastline

386 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

Tropical; moderated by trade winds

Terrain

Mostly rolling hills; narrow coastal plain with swamps

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: unnamed location in the coastal plain -2 m
Highest point: Juliana Top 1,230 m

Economy

The economy is dominated by the mining industry, which accounts for more than a third of GDP and subjects government revenues to mineral price volatility. The short-term economic outlook depends on the government's ability to control inflation and on the development of projects in the bauxite and gold mining sectors. Suriname's economic prospects for the medium term will depend on continued commitment to responsible monetary and fiscal policies and to the introduction of structural reforms to liberalize markets and promote competition.

The government of Ronald VENETIAAN, in his first term, implemented an austerity program, raised taxes, and attempted to control spending. Economic policies are likely to remain the same during VENETIAAN's second term. Prospects for local onshore oil production are good, as a drilling program is underway. Offshore oil drilling was given a boost in 2004 when the State Oil Company (Staatsolie) signed exploration agreements with Repsol, Mearsk, and Occidental.

Transportation

Airports: 47 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 5
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 42
Pipelines: oil 51 km (2004)
Roadways: total: 4,492 km

Waterways

1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2005)

Merchant marine

Total: 1 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,078 GRT/1,214 DWT
By type: cargo 1 (2005)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Paramaribo

Disputes

Area claimed by French Guiana between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa); Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne; Guyana seeks United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) arbitration to resolve the long-standing dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Argentina - Belize - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Ecuador - El Salvador - French Guiana - Guatemala - Guyana - Honduras - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Peru - St. Pierre and Miquelon - Suriname - Uruguay - Venezuela

Further Reading

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