Acting Minister Albert Ramdin of Finance & Planning met with a French delegation led by the ambassador of France in Suriname and Guyana, Nicolas de Lacoste. The economic exchanges between Suriname and French Guiana were discussed. The importance of regional development with France has also been discussed, so that the total population of the region benefits from this. A high-level meeting will be scheduled between President Chan Santokhi with the head of state of France with possible moments in November during COP27 in Egypt or the G-20 in Indonesia.
The ambassador was pleased that France and Suriname recently signed the debt restructuring agreement in Washington. Ramdin indicated that the negotiations with France have always been constructive. In line with this, discussions were held to further coordinate the progress of the projects with France via the Agence Française de Développement, the Suriname Communications Service reported.
The minister noted that there are good prospects for the bilateral debt restructuring with India and China. Discussions have been held with India’s finance minister and bondholders in Washington and are ongoing. Ramdin further stated that the IMF program is being revised, with more attention being paid to strengthening the purchasing power of the socially weak. He stressed that the situation has worsened because of the global crisis. Ambassador De Lacoste agreed and confirmed that France is also struggling with the world crisis.
There was also an exchange of views on the position of the United Nations Development Program for debt relief for small vulnerable countries, including Suriname. The compensation that Suriname should receive as a high forest, low deforestation developing country, which maintains its forest and, among other things, provides oxygen was discussed.
Minister Ramdin asked France for support for Suriname’s request to be qualified as an International Development Association member country within the World Bank. This, based on the multi-dimensional vulnerability index that must be used for the small vulnerable countries that mainly suffer from, among other things, climate change.
The French delegation also consisted of Pierre Sentenac, economic adviser and head of the Regional Economic Service of the embassy in Colombia, and Alban Delpouy, trainee of the Political Chancellery of the embassy of France in Suriname. The Surinamese side also attended Iris Sandel, Director of Development Finance at the Ministry of Finance and Planning.