Updated: Nov 23, 2020
If you are planning a business trip or vacation in Suriname, go through this article to get a better understanding of the potential risks associated with traveling to this Latin American country and to find out how you can decrease them. Suriname is facing current security challenges such as crime, human and narcotics trafficking, piracy, and corruption. The overall security situation in the country is stable; however, this doesn't rule out potential travel risks (i.e., security, safety, health, and transport risks).
Suriname is located on the north coast of South America and has important geolocation; it is ideal for business since the current government is promoting foreign investment. The country is heavily dependent on its abundant natural resources, including bauxite, gold, kaolin, and small amounts of iron ore, platinum, copper, and nickel. The economy is relying on the income from oil and gas and mining sectors—90% of the export accounts for oil/gas and mineral goods, of which 60% is gold.
Suriname attracts lots of tourists, mainly from the US and Europe. The country's population is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world—consisting of the descendants of escaped African slaves, Dutch/British colonialists, Indian, Indonesian, and Chinese indentured laborers, and indigenous Amerindians. Its warm climate, ethnic diversity, jungles, and rainforests make the country a great place for tourism.
Although most country visits are trouble-free, burglary, armed robbery, and violent crime occur in the country's capital, Paramaribo; further, pickpocketing and theft are often in the major business and shopping districts in Paramaribo.
Suriname is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking. Women and girls from Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking in the country; traffickers from Suriname exploit victims in the Netherlands.
Suriname is a transshipment point for South American drugs destined for Europe via the Netherlands and Brazil; however, drug-related violence remains insignificant and unlikely and doesn't affect visitors/tourists.
The terrorism threat in Suriname is improbable; there is no recent history of terrorist attacks in the country.
Suriname is a politically and socially stable country; it has recently got a new government and president in regular elections and a peaceful power transition. It is expected that the security situation and business climate will improve and that corruption will decrease. It's predicted that the coronavirus crisis will impact the economy and result in a recession. Despite there is a small chance of civil riots, it's likely to change/increase as soon as Covid-19 restrictive measures are lifted.
Suriname has a tropical climate with dry and rainy seasons. The short rainy season falls from December to February; the long rainy season takes place from April to mid-August. During this period, heavy rains increase the risk of flooding; keep in mind that telephone and internet service can be problematic during heavy rains. Suriname lies outside the hurricane belt because hurricanes and tropical storms pass to the north, above the Caribbean Sea. It is hot all year round in the country; hence, severe heat is causing problems. The best time to visit Suriname is from late August to mid-November.
Suriname has a risk of transmission of the following diseases: Zika virus, Chikungunya, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid, Dengue, Schistosomiasis, Yellow Fever, and Malaria. You should take all measures to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes. You may need to take antimalarial medication before, during, and after your trip to prevent the risk of Malaria—depending on your travel plans—such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Be aware that medical care is very limited in many areas.
Visitors arriving from or transiting through countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission must show proof of a yellow fever vaccination. The following vaccinations are recommended for all travelers: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever; also, if you are planning outdoor activities and to work around animals, it is recommended to take the Rabies vaccine; the Hepatitis B vaccine is always good for prevention.
Coronavirus in Suriname
The Government of Suriname has imposed restrictions in response to coronavirus, including medical screening and border closing; this holds back people from traveling in/out of the country. Borders remain sealed; but, a limited number of international flights may become available. A nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. is in place. You must wear a face mask in public areas.
There is a substantial risk when traveling by road since unsafe driving standards (e.g., over speeding and unpredictable driving habits) and poor transportation infrastructure (such as frequent road accidents, inadequate lighting, and poorly maintained roadways).
Avoid using public transportation; only use taxis from reputable companies/hotel concierge taxis.
Blue Wing Airlines are banned from operating within the EU since the airline doesn't meet international safety standards; likewise, safety concerns have been raised about INSEL Air. Using Fly All Ways is prohibited for employees of the US government due to safety reasons.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters.
Language: the official language in Suriname is Dutch;
Currency: The Surinamese Dollar (SRD);
Climate: the country has a very hot and wet tropical climate; its average temperature ranges from 29 to 34 degrees Celsius (ca. 84–93 degrees Fahrenheit);
Religion: Suriname is predominantly a Christian country (48.4%), followed by Hinduism (22.3%), Islam (13.9%), and other religions (4.7%);
Driving side: Suriname is a left-side-driving country;
Country code: +597;
Voltage: 127/230V supply voltage and 60Hz.
Travel Risk Management for Suriname
As for traveling to Suriname, you should plan your trip adequately, including developing a contingency plan for an emergency. Nemesis Protection Global LLC is able to ensure your safety and security by mitigating travel-specific risks. Our personal protection specialists will identify and prevent location-related threats by assigning security measures in line with your threat profile. The service involves the following but not limited to.
Travel risk advisory, reports, and planning—gathering, analyzing, and producing insightful and reliable intel from all-source information, and thorough risk, threat, and vulnerability assessments to determine, assess, and reduce threats inherent in visiting Suriname;
Journey tracking—continuous monitoring of your trip by our Global Operations Control Center to secure prompt and timely answer and appropriate support in any negative sudden event (such as natural disasters, political crisis, terror attacks, and severe medical injuries);
Travel security contains proper security measures (like close protection and secure transportation services) to protect you and maintain your personal security/safety in an unobtrusive, inconspicuous, and effective way;
Crisis response embraces the emergency evacuation insurance (extraction and repatriation from a crisis-hit area) and the kidnap & ransom insurance (ensuring suitable response to kidnap-for-ransom situations—risk advisory, hostage negotiations, and the retrieval of kidnapped).
Check out our complete offerings and get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how our action-based and forward-looking approach and integrated solutions can help ensure your safe business and your leisure trips to Suriname.