7. State-Owned Enterprises
State owned enterprises (SOEs) operate in the oil, agribusiness, mining, communication, travel, energy, and financial sectors. SOEs provide little information regarding their operations. Only a few produce annual reports accessible to the public. Staatsolie, Suriname’s state-owned oil company, has publicly available audited accounts. As of 2020, all state-owned enterprises will be required to publish annual accounts. Several have been accused of fraud or corrupt practices.
There is no public list of SOEs.
SOEs receive advantages when competing in the domestic market. These include access to government guarantees and government loans otherwise unavailable to private enterprises. Additionally, SOEs have access to land and raw materials inaccessible to private entities.
The government does not yet adhere to the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance for SOEs.
The GOS did announce a privatization program largely in the agricultural sector, but the only privatization was the state-owned banana company in 2014.
Foreign investors can participate in privatization programs. In 2014, the Belgium multinational UNIVEG acquired a 90 percent stake in the state-owned banana company through a public, international bidding process. The European Commission assisted with the bidding process. UNIVEG later pulled out of Suriname. As this is the only example of privatization within Suriname, no standard privatization or public bidding processes have been established by the GOS.