Conclusion – buy local?

To conclude the topic “how is Coronavirus affecting businesses in Switzerland”, we can observe, after my series of articles, that no-one really knows how the economy and the faith of these businesses will be after the crisis. But one thing is sure, it is that we need to think on how to get them back on track as fast as possible and maybe think about reorganizing ourself regarding our consumption as individuals and on how to run businesses.

Will we continue to buy as much first necessity products from foreign countries or will we focus on local products first? Will we continue to travel around the world before thinking of spending time and money in our own country? Will we invest in companies hoping for the biggest financial return, or will we want to help local businesses in need?

One thing is clear, it is that the epidemic has made everyone realize that our way of doing business is very vulnerable, even to the most important sectors of a country which think they are too important to fail. However, it is true that when one part of the economy, wether in or out of the country, fails, then the entire economy can be in danger and leading nations in a recession.

In order to avoid future crisis and to overcome this one, it would be interesting to consider going back to producing and buying more locally. The fact is that globalization has made most sectors in every country dependable of foreign economics and politics, hence not being able to survive without them. If we were to go back to producing at least first necessity products locally, we would be better prepared for the future, creating jobs nationally and enabling more and better job opportunities to employees. Also, if we were to focus more on natural product and going back to use less outsourced technology, we would be able to pay more wages to those who work for minimum wages.

As an example, we can think of agriculture. The fact is that this sector represents only 1% of the Swiss GDP and that farmers are often complaining that they cannot hold against the cheap competition of foreign countries. If we were to privilege buying at our local farmers market and avoid buying in other countries, we would not only improve the country’s wellbeing but also avoid pollution costs, non-ethical agricultural systems and we would have healthier food.

Of course, this way of doing business would lead to other problems. Prices in Switzerland would even be higher than before and firms would gain a lower profit than by outsourcing or importing the products. Also, the country would be less open-market, leading to contracts with trading partners being broken.

So, to finalize this post and this series of article, I would like to suggest one last question to think about: “How will you, my dear reader, behave after the crisis? Will you go back to living your life as if nothing happened, or will you try to make the business world a better place even if it means changing your habits?”

1 thought on “Conclusion – buy local?”

  1. Your conclusion is good, but nit does leave me a bit hungry about your personal views, in particular on how to balance the need to promote local businesses with the fact that Switzerland relies very heavily on international commerce and trade.

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