How the Watch Industry is Dealing with Protectionism

How the Watch Industry is Dealing with Protectionism

Postby koimaster » October 10th 2017, 10:12pm

The increased taxes on watch purchases by Chinese tourists in Switzerland rank high on the list of the industry’s current woes. In Brazil and India, highly protectionist measures still prevent major national markets developing in this sector. To cap it all, a whole series of champions of “economic patriotism” have recently come to power.

Be it economic or cultural, protectionism always hampers the international growth of watchmaking exports. The subject tends not to come up much in years of plenty, but at a time when some sources of revenue appear to be dwindling, it has become a hot topic once again. Has protectionism been globalised too? And does watchmaking have the wherewithal to fight back?

Trump in the White House? Unthinkable. As was Brexit. Surely the Front National could never manage to outperform both right and left in France? Could Viktor Orban’s Hungary conceivably harden under the influence of neighbouring Russia, itself taking a harder line these days? What about the regional economy of the Middle East? That downturn’s only a blip, isn’t it? The price of oil is sure to pick up again…

Certainties are definitely in short supply today. The above examples show just how expectations can be defeated in record time – in a matter of just a few weeks or months. The goalposts of international politics seem to be moving as fast as the changing seasons. Where does watchmaking fit into all of this?


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