Costa Rican Workers March for Exchange Rate and Loss of Competitiveness


Workers from productive and export sectors such as pineapple, coffee, banana, rice, and tourism are marching this Wednesday in downtown San José. They are protesting the impact of the appreciation of the colón against the dollar and the loss of competitiveness due to the exchange rate. The protesters are appealing to the Government of the Republic, the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR), and the Legislative Assembly in a march that started from La Merced Park at around 9:10 a.m., passing by the BCCR building, the Ministry of Finance, and finally arriving at Democracy Square.

Among some of the demands to the State authorities, the workers call for an increase in the dollar price, lower prices for productive inputs, and to be considered in various negotiation spaces. They also want their reported impacts to be considered in economic policy decision-making. Asdrúbal Porras, a coffee producer from Naranjo who works on a farm inherited from his father, arrived in the city centre in the morning. He commented that agriculture today is not a profitable business and that the drop in the dollar price worsened the impact they have suffered due to the increase in input prices to produce after the pandemic and the drop in the international price of coffee in recent months. "We need a little more value in the dollar and more credit to the sector. Do not turn your back on us, take us into account in all negotiations and public policies," he said. The activity was convened by twelve chambers and associations of productive sectors to request adjustments in economic, monetary, and exchange policies to reduce the impact on employment and competitiveness caused by the fall in the dollar price. Among the productive groups that called for the march are the Association of Banana Producers of Costa Rica (Aproban), the National Chamber of Banana Producers, the National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (Canapep), UPA National, National Chamber of Coffee Growers (Camcafe), Canatur, National Chamber of Agriculture and Agroindustry (CNAA), Costa Rican Chamber of Construction, Chamber of Plants Flowers and Foliage, National Chamber of Cargo Transport (Canatrac), Cadexco, and Association of Free Zone Companies (Azofras).