Suriname Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public holidays

Introduction

Due to the historical colonial heritage from the Netherlands, Suriname does not belong to the most culturally distant countries from the point of view of Czech companies. However, the export opportunities are small and the risk is high according to reliable sources.

According to the assessment of trade freedom (2021 Index of Economic Freedom), it is ranked 169th in the world.

When it comes to security and freedom of trade and investment, Suriname ranks 29th within the LAC, even behind Haiti.

Addressing

Customs important for business contacts correspond to Latin America.

Addressing potential customers remotely by email is not very effective.

A suitable way is to find a local representative or a reliable intermediary.

Personal contact is most effective.

Business meeting

Punctuality is not strictly required, however it is recommended to arrive at business meetings no more than 15 minutes late.

Business negotiations are generally conducted in English and it is necessary to have well-prepared tender documents, accompanied by relevant technical documentation, catalogs, prospectuses, CDs, etc. The Surinamese partner usually expects an invitation to a working lunch or dinner after the conclusion of a successful business negotiation. Small gifts and favors for his family and promotional items for his staff are also common.

The Surinamese partner expects well-made offers, usually expects a longer price negotiation and does not hesitate to spend effort and time to achieve any discount. The official language is Dutch, English, Surinamese (Sranang Tongo – Creole), Hindi and Javanese are also widely spoken.

Some residents also use the indigenous languages ​​Maroon, Aucan, Saramacán, etc., but it is not assumed that business negotiations would be conducted in them. Due to the influence of European culture (Holland), standard procedures apply to the preparation of negotiations. Gifts are only suitable after a closer knowledge of the partner. It is necessary to have enough patience. It is necessary to count on several meetings. Never “push” to a quick conclusion right from the start.

It is necessary to respect the combination of heritage cultural patterns of colonial Europe and indigenous ethnicities. The already mentioned combination of Holan culture and indigenous elements leads to great dexterity. Great caution is required.

As far as religious/ethnic differences are concerned, more consideration has to be given to Islamic influences in recent times.

Time costs are higher than in Europe, patience is required.

When it comes to the consumption of alcohol during business meetings, it is necessary to strictly follow the religion of the person concerned.

Appropriate clothing results from the climate and also depends on the level of knowledge of the partner.

The role of men in decision-making is still essential. However, despite approximately 14% of the Muslim population, women are usually discriminated against in dealings.

Communication

A high-quality interpreter who knows Dutch is an advantage during negotiations. The official language is Dutch, English, Surinamese (Sranang Tongo – Creole), Hindi and Javanese are also widely spoken.

Some residents also use the indigenous languages ​​Maroon, Aucan, Saramacán, etc., but it is not assumed that business negotiations would be conducted in them. When it comes to communication taboos, caution must be exercised within cross-cultural and ethnic differences. Knowledge of Suriname’s troubled recent history is also advisable in order to avoid facsimile passports about power relations.

Personal communication is the most effective.

Recommendation

To open a company in Suriname, a foreign investor needs a special industrial license, the granting of which is decided by the government on a case-by-case basis. There are no special requirements for the percentage of local share or for the equality of shares. There are also no import substitution requirements or export targets. Investors are under no obligation to request the use of employment agencies or consent to technology transfer or the use of local funding sources. Private companies must register with the Chamber of Commerce to open a company in the country. After registration, they can buy and dispose of their property without restrictions.

Customs important for business contacts correspond to Latin America. Punctuality is not strictly required, however it is recommended to arrive at business meetings no more than 15 minutes late. Business negotiations are generally conducted in English and it is necessary to have well-prepared tender documents, accompanied by relevant technical documentation, catalogs, prospectuses, CDs, etc. The Surinamese partner usually expects an invitation to a working lunch or dinner after the conclusion of a successful business negotiation. Small gifts and favors for his family and promotional items for his staff are also common. The Surinamese partner expects well-made offers, usually expects a longer price negotiation and does not hesitate to spend effort and time to achieve any discount. The official language is Dutch, and English is also widely spoken, Surinamese (Sranang Tongo – Creole), Hindi and Javanese. Some residents also use the indigenous languages ​​Maroon, Aucan, Saramacán, etc., but it is not assumed that business negotiations would be conducted in them.

Public Holidays

Public Holidays: January 1 New Year’s Day March 15 Holika March–April Good Friday March–April Easter Monday May 1 Labor Day July 1 Abolition of Slavery November 25 Independence Day December 25 I Christmas Day 26 December II Christmas Day and Tweede Kerstdaq Business and sales hours: Normal business hours: 8:30am – 12:00pm, 2:00pm – 6:00pm Normal sales hours: 8:00am – 8:00pm

Suriname Culture of Business