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National identity Deserving of protection?

In today’s globalised world, national branding stands out, making a play for a certain idea of a country’s worth. ‘Swiss made’ watches or cars ‘made in Germany’ spring to mind. But are ‘national brands’ worth what consumers pay for them?

Knowing where a product was made or under what conditions is becoming more complicated for consumers. For example, just how Swiss is that watch if some of its components are produced abroad?

Big Swiss watchmakers want at least 60 per cent of the manufacturing costs to be local for products to earn the right to be called Swiss made.

So is national branding worth all the hoopla or nothing more than a marketing exercise?