Ecuador's export sector is very concerned about the different mobility restrictions that various municipalities have announced they'll implement in their different cantons to contain the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions come after the state of emergency (which was imposed in the country in March) came to an end on September 12 and the central government gave the decentralized autonomous governments (GAD) the competence to establish mobility conditions in their territories.
The banana sector was one of the first sectors that have reacted to the logistical problems that these restrictions could generate. The Banana Cluster sent a statement to the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) requesting that the safe-conduct that allows the unrestricted circulation of cargo transport trucks on the highways at the national level remain in force, as the export sector has been considered one of the strategic sectors since the declaration of the health emergency due to the pandemic.
"Taking into consideration the situation of the productive sectors and to facilitate mobility, we request that the safe-conducts remain in force at the national level to avoid any complications that could be generated by depending on each GAD," states the letter from the Banana Cluster, which is made up of the Ecuadorian Banana Exporters Association, the ACORBANEC Banana Marketing and Export Association, Ecuador's Regional Banana Corporation, and the Chamber of Agriculture of Zone II.
If that's not possible, the sector requests that the mobility restriction for the export value chain be ended, as freight transport and field personnel cover several provinces and cantons.
The country's export activity has been one of the factors that have contributed the most to the national economy during the health emergency. According to the Central Bank of Ecuador, from January to July 2020, the country has received 11.113 billion dollars from exports. Banana sales were the country's leading non-oil export product with sales that totaled 2.314 billion dollars in this period.