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EU relations and cooperation with Suriname are carried out both on bilateral and regional basis, the latter within the framework of the on-going EU-CELAC and EU-CARIFORUM dialogues. Suriname is party to the "Cotonou Agreement", the partnership agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union.
The EU-Suriname cooperation strategy for the period 2008-2013 focuses on the transport sector. Other focal areas include micro projects, the rice sector, the banana sector (Special Framework of Assistance), the private sector, environmental management, good governance and democracy.
At regional level, the Caribbean signed, in October 2008, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM countries) and the EU, a framework to help make trade, investment and development assistance easier for all parties, in particular promoting regional integration.
Suriname and the EU have a long-standing trade relationship, and the EU is the primary destination for Suriname’s exports, receiving almost 25% of exports. After the USA, the EU is the main origin of imports. The main exported products are aluminum, gold, oil, and agricultural produce such as rice, fruit and vegetables, shrimp and fish.
In November 2012, the member states of the EU and the Caribbean adopted the new Joint Caribbean-European Union Partnership Strategy. This Strategy will enhance Caribbean– European Union relations and broaden the engagement by adding a political pillar to the traditional cooperation relationship based on development and trade. The strategy focuses on Regional Integration, Haiti Reconstruction, Climate Change and Natural Disasters, Crime and Security, and Joint Action in Multilateral Fora.