Suriname Airways, Zanderij, Association of Caribbean States, plywood manufacturing, Caribbean Community
The mining and processing of bauxite (into alumina and aluminum) is the base of the economy. Additional industries include lumbering and plywood manufacturing and the manufacture of molasses and rum. Agriculture is confined mainly to the coastal plains area and the river valleys and has great potential for expansion. Rice is the chief crop. Other important crops include cacao, coffee, citrus fruits, bananas, and sugarcane. Shrimp fishing is expanding along the coast. In 2000 exports totaled $512 million; exports are typically predominated by alumina, aluminum, and bauxite. Imports totaled $496 million; imports usually consist mostly of fuels and industrial goods. Principal purchasers of Suriname’s exports are Norway, The Netherlands, the United States, Japan, Brazil, and the United Kingdom; chief sources of imports are the United States, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, and Brazil. In 1995 Suriname joined in forming the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), a free-trade organization. The organization’s other members include 12 nations bordering on or in the Caribbean and the members of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). The unit of currency is the Suriname guilder (1,322 guilders equal U.S.$1; 2000 average).
Transportation facilities in Suriname are concentrated in the northern part of the country. The nation has 4,492 km (2,791 mi) of roads, very few of which are improved, and 166 km (103 mi) of operated railroad track. Transport on Suriname’s roughly 1,200 km (750 mi) of inland rivers and canals is very important. Paramaribo and Nieuw Nickerie are the chief seaports, and Moengo, Paranam, and Smalkalden are important ports for shipping bauxite. Suriname’s principal airport is at Zanderij; Suriname Airways is the national airline. The country has several radio stations and a television service. There were 728 radio receivers, 153 television sets, and 174 telephone mainlines for every 1,000 inhabitants in 1997.
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