The Suriname Dollar (SRD) has been the national currency since 2004. There are coins in denominations of 1,5,10,25,100 and 250 cents, and bank bills of 5,10,20,50 and 100 Dollars. You can view the exchange rates each day in the local newspapers. US Dollars and Euros can be exchanged at all national and local banks. Traveller’s cheques can only be exchanged at local banks. Under no circumstances should you ever exchange money on the streets!
You can also use your ATM or credit card. In the interior of the country, this option is obviously not available. If necessary, you can ask your tour guide which destinations within the country will require you to have cash on hand.
There are plenty of ATMs in Paramaribo where you can use your ATM card to pick up cash. Banks are only open in the morning from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Exchange offices (Cambios) are often open until 9:00 pm in the evening.
Good monetary prospects for Suriname
Suriname's economy displays economic stability for a number of years. It is very important that the current foundation is developing more.
In 2004, three zeros were scraped from the Surinamese guilder and the name was changed to the Suriname Dollar, the SRD. This decision was taken by the Central Bank of Suriname, because the value of the Surinamese currency was declining. This was the way to make money valuable again.
It can be said today the monetary reserves of Suriname are at peaks. This means that the Surinamese economy is strong and has the reserves to show that. There are three reasons why the monetary reserves are so important for our country:
- The reserves cover the money brought into circulation. When this is not the case then the zeros appear again causing inflation. The Central Bank of Suriname is the only institute that can put money into circulation. And since 2005, the line was tightened. The Central Bank may only spend money if they have coverage.
- The reserves cover the currency accounts of other banks. Banks are at high risk because of the foreign currency management and should be able to pay back customers at all the time. These banks are required to deposit 1/3 of the currency separate to an escrow account so the money is kept safe. The Central Bank of Suriname will back up the banks if they get into trouble and cannot pay their customers.
- The reserves provide a certain amount of credit on the capital market. This is especially necessary now that the development aid is finished. Suriname is now dependent on international capital markets, where there is a need for monetary reserves.
The Surinamese currency is healthy, fully covered and is safe to invest. There is no doubt that there is economic stability, for the purchasing power has together with the Gross National Product doubled in the past five years.