Suriname is classed as a developing nation; although with its strong GDP (an estimated 9.24 billion USD in 2014), commitment to free and fair elections, and social unity within its diverse ethnic groups, it is in no way under-developed.
The city of Paramaribo is a major exporter of gold, sugar cane, tropical woods, and rice, and exports make up a significant foundation of the country’s earnings. Furthermore, tourism has become increasingly important for the economy, with the draw of the country’s rainforests.
There is a strong demand for native English speakers, and language teaching, either in schools or privately, is a common job for expats. It is also common to find degree-educated expatriates working in the mining and export business, and the country’s need for improvements to its infrastructure and transport networks provides ample opportunities for expatriates to work as engineers and managers.
A number of online job portals have Paramaribo-specific postings, for example CaribbeanJobs, as well as organization specific sites like The United Nations Development Program have dedicated jobs sections.
Due to a shared colonial heritage, there are a large number of Dutch companies operating out of Suriname, and Paramaribo in particular (e.g. ‘Casinos Austria’), these would be a sensible first port of call for foreigners seeking employment; and companies are regularly looking for staff with experience in the petroleum, engineering and mining industries.
The local English language newspaper DevSur is a useful resource for local job postings and information.
Expatriates wishing to work need two official permits before they are able to obtain a job in Suriname. The first permit, MKV, granted by the Ministry of Justice and Police, gives the applicant a resident status; then a work permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Labor, Environmental Affairs and Technology.
The application for a work permit is the responsibility of the employer, who must show that the position they are seeking to fill could not be undertaken by a Surinamese national. These permits should be applied early, as the MKV can take up to 3 months, and the work permit up to 30 days to process.