I guess location of manufacture means a heck of a lot.
It can, but the condition of your recording equipment matters a lot too. Test a disc from another manufacturer in the same drive, and if works, you know you've got crappy discs. If it doesn't, it's the drive that's on the blink.
COO (Country of Origin) matters only in as much as it provides clues as to the company who produced it, and what kind of standards they use - for example most here would avoid Made In China (tends to be 3rd rate stuff regardless of manufacturer) Made In Hong Kong (variable quality media often with misappropriated MIDs), Taiwan and India, considerably better (CMC MAG, Moser Baer India, Prodisc etc) while most recommend anything Made In Japan (Taiyo Yuden :flower:) or Singapore (Verbatim makes DL DVDs there).
I tend towards MIJ media these days, just like every Toyota anyone in my family ever had stayed on the road for 20 years with almost no maintenance, so Taiyo Yuden could be called the Toyota of optical media. Nothing fancy, just pure reliability.