Swissness Bill: Two Perspectives

In: Social Issues

Submitted By gy9402
Words 3101
Pages 13

Over the years, Swiss products and services enjoy excellent popularity all over the world. Switzerland’s first-ranking performance among twenty-five best country brands in the 2012-13 Country Brand Index has no doubt proved that Swiss brand is a renowned one. To customers, goods designated “made in Switzerland” are associated with exclusivity and tradition, and is a guarantee of impeccably high quality.

In an increasingly competitive business world, the reputation of Swiss products has made it favourable for firms to use Swiss designations to earn extra revenues. Businesses are now using “made in Switzerland” and the “Swiss cross” to indicate the country of origin of their products. This has brought some undesirable consequences, in particular, the misuse and abuse of indications of Swiss designations.

In view of these, the “Swissness bill” was proposed to enhance the Swissness of alleged Swiss products, that is, to manufacture mainly with components in obtained domestically in Switzerland. The legislation has great impacts on business operation and consumers’ interests.

This essay first discusses the reasons for the proposal of the Swissness bill under globalisation. It then further evaluates whether the bill is beneficial from the viewpoints of local producers and consumers respectively.

A brief overview of the Swissness bill

The draft of the Federal Act on the Protection of Trade Marks and Indications of Source provides a more sophisticated regulation on the indication of geographical source of a product, thereby defining how “Swiss” the product should be in order to label it as being Swiss. Under the proposal, at least 50 per cent of the total manufacturing costs must incur in Switzerland for a product to be labelled as Swiss. For industrial goods, at least 60 per cent of the manufacturing costs must incur in Switzerland. Research…...

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