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Canada-Suriname relations

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Bilateral relations 

Canada and Suriname have shared strong bilateral relations since Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975. Canada’s longstanding development programming supports Suriname’s efforts to achieve its development goals.

Canada is represented in Suriname by the High Commission of Canada to Guyana, in Georgetown and has an Honorary Consul in Paramaribo.

Trade relations 

In 2022, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Suriname was valued $41.8 million. Exports for 2022 were valued at $26.2 million and imports were valued at $15.6 million.

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Canada’s development program is focused on mutual priorities such as climate and economic resilience, sustainable and inclusive governance, the advancement of gender equality, and support for Indigenous peoples and Tribal peoples.

Following the 2017 hurricane season that devastated the Caribbean, Canada announced a 5-year $100 million Pledge for Caribbean Reconstruction and Economic and Climate Resilience to support Suriname and the region. This pledge was fulfilled in 2022 and included strengthened natural disaster planning and response through organizations such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

At the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in The Bahamas, Canada announced $44.8 million in new initiatives to help support CARICOM in addressing the climate crisis by protecting more biodiversity and improving climate resilience and disaster preparedness. Canada continues to advocate for small island and low-lying states in the Caribbean, who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change like rising sea levels and extreme weather events. 

During the COVID-19 crisis, Canada redirected programming to respond to Surinamese and Caribbean needs, including to address gender-based violence, income support and essential services, training and technical assistance for health professionals, as well as supplies and personal protective equipment.

A principle means of support to the Caribbean is technical assistance and training to increase the capacity of governments and organizations. For instance, the Canada-CARICOM Expert Deployment Mechanism provides technical assistance to CARICOM governments, including Suriname, to help diversify and strengthen the economy, build climate resilient communities, and reduce gender and economic inequalities.

Suriname also benefits from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, and Canada’s support through non-governmental organizations and multilateral organizations, such as the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Information on Canadian development initiatives is available on Project Browser.

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Canada and Suriname collaborate in the security sector. Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program is active through regional projects aimed at strengthening cybersecurity; preventing migrant smuggling and human trafficking; delivering training on addressing illicit trafficking through containerized cargo and strengthening the gender accountability of legal frameworks pertaining to small arms. Furthermore, since 2009 the Program has supported Op ACKEE with the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command to mentor, enable, and create opportunities for the Jamaica Defence Force to grow as a Special Operations Forces leader and more effectively combat trans-regional threats in the Caribbean Basin. Other regional partners include Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname.

The Canadian Armed Forces and the Suriname National Army both participate in a multinational maritime interdiction, ground security and interagency exercise called Exercise TRADEWINDS.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Suriname work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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