Liechtenstein ? at a glance
? Area: 160 square
? Population: 34,600
? Municipalities: 11, Capital Vaduz
? Currency: Swiss franc, euros are usually accepted
? Neighbouring countries: Switzerland and Austria
? Official language: German
? National Day: 15 August
? System of State: Constitutional hereditary monarchy on a democratic and parliamentary basis
? Head of State: H.S.H. Prince Hans-Adam II. von und zu Liechtenstein
? Parliament: 25 Members of Parliament
? Government: Prime Minister Otmar Hasler and four other members, appointed by Reigning Prince for four years at the suggestion of the Parliament
In 2006, the Principality of Liechtenstein is celebrating "200 Years of Sovereignty". In 1806, Liechtenstein became a member of the Confederation of the Rhine and obtained sovereignty, which it has kept until today. The Principality of Liechtenstein was founded much earlier. The Princes of Liechtenstein acquired the Lordship of Schellenberg in 1699 and the County of Vaduz in 1712. Emperor Karl VI united the two territories and elevated them to an Imperial Principality by the name of Liechtenstein in 1719.
Geography and population
Liechtenstein lies between Switzerland and Austria. With an area of 160 square kilometers the Principality is the fourth smallest state in Europe. The total length of Liechtenstein?s national borders is 76 km. The Rhine Valley covers half of Liechtenstein; the rest consists of Alpine areas. The capital and seat of Government is Vaduz, with a population of about 5,000. The population density is 216 per square kilometre. Liechtenstein has a diverse population with about 90 different nationalities.
Vaduz Castle , Prince and Princely House
The castle, which is about 700 years old, has been in the possession of the Princes of Liechtenstein since 1712. Since 1938, it has served as the residence of the Princely Family and can therefore not be visited.
The Princely House of Liechtenstein is one of the oldest noble families in Europe and also a very successful family of entrepreneurs. The family?s art collection is one of the most important private collections in the world. Reigning Prince Hans-Adam II is the first Reigning Prince to have been born in Liechtenstein. On 15 August 2004, he appointed Hereditary Prince Alois, who is married to Duchess Sophie of Bavaria, as his Representative and transferred government affairs to him.
Diversified business location
With a population of 34,600 and about 3,150 businesses, Liechtenstein has 1 business per 11 inhabitants. 15 businesses have more than 250 employees each in Liechtenstein . The largest share of Liechtenstein businesses are small enterprises. Many Liechtenstein businesses are global market leaders specialized in research-intensive market niches. In 2004, LCCI industrial companies invested around 307 million Swiss francs in research and development. This corresponds to nearly 8,900 Swiss francs per capita.
General economic figures
In 2001, Liechtenstein?s gross domestic product (GDP) was 4.2 billion Swiss francs. As of the end of 2004, Liechtenstein banks managed client assets of about 107 billion Swiss francs (with a balance sheet total of about 34 billion Swiss francs). In comparison: Swiss banks managed client assets of about 3,550 billion Swiss francs (end of 2004). Liechtenstein Tourism counted 50,000 foreign visitors in 2004 and 104,000 overnight stays. Liechtenstein as a vacation country is particularly popular among Germans: 31.5% of all foreign visitors and 32.8% of all overnight guests were from Germany. Liechtenstein?s unemployment rate is 2.4% (December 2005).
The Liechtenstein business location employs over 29?500 people (end 2004). About 15,600 of these employees live in Liechtenstein. Approx. 13,900 are cross-border commuters (especially from Switzerland and Austria). Two-thirds of all jobs in Liechtenstein are held by foreigners.
Did you know?
? The people of Liechtenstein love T?arka-Rebel as their national dish and like to eat K?skn?pfle. But they are also not averse to gourmet dining. The Gault Millau 2005 restaurant guide awarded a high number of points to no fewer than four restaurants on the 160 square kilometers (62 square miles) of Liechtenstein territory
? The people of Liechtenstein love their clubs and associations. Clubs and associations belong to a village the way trees belong to a forest. Countless clubs and associations have been founded since the right of association was enshrined in the Constitution in 1862. One of the first was the Vaduz Readers' Club, followed by drama associations and the Agricultural Association in 1885, which for many years had the most members. Approximately 600 clubs and associations exist today. The Historical Society for the Principality of Liechtenstein has demonstrated its iron discipline since 1901, issuing its highly readable Yearbook each year without fail.
? The Romans brought wine to the Liechtenstein region. At the end of the 19th century, wine was one of the main export products. Grape diseases and economic and social changes diminished the winegrowing areas. In the last third of the 20th century, several smaller vineyards have popped up around the Hofkellerei of the Reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. Hardly any village is without a vineyard. Even in the Walser village of Triesenberg, 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level, a winegrowing trial has been initiated successfully.
? 4,410 acts of EU legislation are also applicable in (as of Dec. 31, 2005). This means that Liechtenstein is to a large extent part of the internal market (free movement of persons, goods, services, and capital).
? So far, Liechtenstein participates in 33 EU programs (research and development, education, youth, social policy, etc.) and in seven of its specialized agencies.
? Liechtenstein pays 44 Euro per capita per year into EU programs and into a fund for the development of less-favoured EU regions. Such a per capita rate, if payed in all of the EU, would result in 20 billion Euro annually.
? Liechtenstein pays 0.4% of its GDP per year for development cooperation. The EU average is 0.35%.
? Liechtenstein is a member of the UN, the OSCE, the Council ofEurope, EFTA, WTO, and many other international and European organisations. It has supported almost 700 foreign policy declarations of the EU between the years 2000 and 2004.
? The Liechtenstein Institute at Princeton University promotes research, publishing, teaching, and private diplomacy in the areas of state, sovereignty, and self-determination. The Liechtenstein Colloquium on European and International Affairs has hosted private diplomatic conferences on Southeast Europe, Kosovo, and Afghanistan since 1980. Some of the outcomes of the Liechtenstein Colloquium are taken up by the UN General Assembly and Security Council and regularly result in various publications.
? Liechtenstein has regularly been represented at the Frankfurt Book Fair for the last six years.