Liechtenstein, is a tiny, doubly landlocked German-speaking microstate in Central Europe. The principality is a constitutional monarchy headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein. It is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It has an area of just over 160 square kilometers, the fourth-smallest in Europe, and an estimated population of 37,000. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is Vaduz and its largest municipality is Schaan. An alpine country, Liechtenstein is mainly mountainous, making it a winter sports destination. Many cultivated fields and small farms are found. It is also a tax haven. Despite this, it is not heavily urbanized. Many cultivated fields and small farms characterize its landscape. It is the smallest German-speaking country in the world.
Following World War II, Liechtenstein’s economy grew around highly specialized industrial firms, while also being active in the international financial sector. Liechtenstein went from a poor agrarian country to a modern society with a diversified economy. Within a few decades, Liechtenstein could no longer provide the manpower that its economy needed. This shortage of workers meant that even to this day, Liechtenstein’s economy is partially dependent on foreign workers. It is one of the world’s smallest countries, in both area and population. However, despite its size, it has one of the most stable economies in the world and is ranked number 2 in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita, right after Qatar and just ahead of Macau. Liechtenstein has the second lowest tax rate in Europe at 12.5%, which is one of the reasons that there are more registered companies in the country than citizens. Also, the personal income tax base rate is 1.2%. The country is the largest producer of false teeth in the world. The stock trades at 14.1 times trailing earnings and pays a yield of 3.97%.
|Agriculture||Wheat, barley, corn, potatoes; livestock, dairy products.|
|Manufacture||Electronics, metal manufacturing, textiles, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, food products, precision instruments.|
|Services (Including financial)||52% (2014 EST.)|
The Financial Market Authority (FMA) Liechtenstein supervises capital-market-related activities in and outside of Liechtenstein. Although Liechtenstein has, thus far, not had its own stock exchange, it does have companies and market participants, which are admitted to trading on a European stock exchange or a stock exchange in a third country. Listed companies and market participants are required to comply with various transparency, notification and conduct requirements. These requirements are based on the financial market regulations. The FMA occupies a central role in relation to reporting and notification requirements and acts as an important interface between financial intermediaries and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).
Liechtenstein’s diminutive size and landlocked features lead to an exciting history of conquests. Even though much of Liechtenstein culture derives from other surrounding countries, there is still a unique, rural atmosphere and laid-back ambiance throughout the tiny nation. During the Middle Ages, Liechtenstein was part of the Raetia region in the Holy Roman Empire. This was subdivided into numerous land lots and controlled by a variety of wealthy families, including the counts of von Hohenems and Montfont. Vaduz County was established in 1342, becoming a vassal for the Holy Roman Empire in 1396. Schellenberg came into effect in 1434. Local families in the region began having financial difficulties in the 17th century, largely as a result of regional conflicts. The Liechtenstein family of Lower Austria decided to purchase Schellenberg in the year 1699, followed by the County of Vaduz in 1712. In 1719, Charles VI of the Holy Roman Empire gave a decree that Saduz and Schellenberg were to become part of the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein was invaded by the French during the Napoleonic Wars, and after the signing of the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 became part of the Confederation of the Rhine. After the demise of Napoleon in 1815, Liechtenstein joined a fresh coalition called the German Confederation. In 1866, a short, but devastating war took place, dissolving the Confederation and seeing Liechtenstein stop its military industry. Up until the First World War, the country enjoyed a thriving economic relationship with Austria. Liechtenstein has been a neutral country during both World Wars of the 20th century. Valuable family heirlooms from surrounding warring nations were held inside the country for safe-keeping, but after the demise of Nazi Germany, much of Liechtenstein’s territories were taken by Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Prince Hans Adam II
(Prince of Liechtenstein)
(Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein)
The Swiss frank has been the currency of Liechtenstein since 1920. The Swiss franc is legal tender since Liechtenstein is in a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. The 1980 treaty between Switzerland and Liechtenstein allows Liechtenstein to mint limited amounts of Swiss francs with a Liechtenstein inscription, but only in the form of commemorative coins (mainly issued for collectors), and they are not allowed to issue banknotes. Liechtenstein used the Austrian krone and heller until 1920 and switched to the Swiss franc due to the krone's instability.
Liechtenstein coins are so rare that they do not actually circulate, and no banknotes have been issued, with the exception of three emergency issues of heller in 1920. Most of the Liechtenstein frank coins have the same amount of precious metal as the Swiss franc, except for the coins minted in the late 1980s and 1990s. The highest number of Liechtenstein frank coins minted was the 1 frank minted in 1924; 60,000 were struck, but 45,355 of them were later melted.L
If the number of melted coins is excluded, the highest mintage would be the 50 Franken minted in 1988 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reign of Prince Franz Joseph II and the 10 Franken minted in 1990 commemorating the succession of Prince Hans-Adam II. Both number 35,000.
|National Song||"Oben am jungen Rhein"|
|Currency||Swiss franc (CHF)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||$6.1 (2014 nominal) Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||1.2 (2014) Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$160526 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
Prince Regnant – Hans-Adam II
Head of Government – Adrian Hasler
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||n/a Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||2.4 (2015) Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|