Suriname in Times of COVID-19: Navigating the Labyrinth

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Oct 2020
Suriname is facing severe macroeconomic disequilibrium characterized by large fiscal and external imbalances and a sharp decline in economic growth. Although the country is in a precarious economic situation in the short term, there are high expectations that recent developments in the oil sector will make an important contribution to economic recovery over the medium term. However, much work on policy reforms is needed to put Surinames economy on a sustainable path. In the coming years, policy makers have the salient task of strengthening the countrys macroeconomic policy framework and related institutions to prudently manage any proceeds from the oil sector as well as the countrys natural resource wealth. This will be important to restore and sustain macroeconomic stability, advance on socioeconomic outcomes, and stimulate competitiveness in the private sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has also elevated longstanding issues such as the lack of digitalization and Fintech and inadequate infrastructure, all of which have become even more critical to inclusive growth and development as the pandemic continues. This note examines the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Suriname and highlights some opportunities to achieve macroeconomic stabilization and to prepare the private sector to navigate the pandemic and support inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic recovery for Suriname.