The president of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (Asoex), Ronald Bown, assured that the strikes, like the ones that continue to develop in Valparaiso and have a direct impact on the fruit sector, also affect Chile's foreign trade image.
"So far, we have not had any kind of physical loss, but our image has been affected. As a result of these strikes, buyers will always think that there is a risk here. They'll wonder when the strike will end, if they'll get the fruit they ordered for December, mid-December or the end of December, and they might even decide to replace it, which could be logical from their point of view.
That would obviously be more than image problem, as it would affect our income," he stated. Bown said that they hoped that this strike, which broke out at the end of November, comes to an end soon so that it doesn't continue to interrupt the development of the fruit season in the ports of the central zone of the country, as Valparaiso accounts for 56% of the shipments to international markets.
"We hope that this has an immediate solution, so that it ends this week. We do not want to think about projections beyond a week." Bown also said that they needed to have a stronger port policy that aims at presenting solutions to this type of conflicts that affect the different sectors involved.
"I would say that there is no port policy in this country. Having constant persisting problems an new problems arising all the time just shows the existing port policy does not work. Therefore, we have to change. That means we have to look for changes that have a long-term projection, of at least 25 years, taking into account the needs of all the sectors involved, as this includes cities, inhabitants, workers, dealers, and the country, among other things. So these changes have to represent a long-term vision and its sustainability over time," said the manager of Asoex.
"Thus, we need all the sectors involved to work together, obviously including users as they are very relevant, to be able to define a port policy that takes into account everybody's interests. It must also have dispute resolution schemes that are fair and feasible to implement and it must be constituted by entities or people that represent the country's interests, and they must be acceptable for everybody," the trade union leader stated.
"This is what we believe and I also think that we are going about things the wrong way because we are already working to have a Large-scale Port but we still don't have a policy that supports a certain stability. This means that when we have a Large-scale Port we'll also have large-scale problems, which will be much greater than the ones we have now and will affect the country much more. That's why we believe we should definitely be serious about this aspect," he said.
Source: Portal Portuario