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Liechtenstein Business Guide


Geography


Location:
Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland


Geographic coordinates:
47 16 N, 9 32 E


Map references:
Europe


Area:
total:160 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 219
land:160 sq km
water:0 sq km


Area - comparative:
about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC


Land boundaries:
total:76 km
border countries:Austria 34.9 km, Switzerland 41.1 km


Coastline:
0 km (doubly landlocked)


Maritime claims:
lowest point:Ruggeller Riet 430 m
highest point:Vorder-Grauspitz 2,599 m


    Natural resources:
hydroelectric potential, arable land


Land use:
arable land:21.88%
permanent crops:0%
other:78.12% (2011)


Irrigated land:
NA


Natural hazards:
NA


Environment - current issues:
NA


Environment - international agreements:
party to:Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:Law of the Sea


Geography - note:
along with Uzbekistan, one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world; variety of microclimatic variations based on elevation



People and Society


Nationality:
noun: Liechtensteiner(s)
adjective:Liechtenstein


Ethnic groups:
Liechtensteiner 65.6%, other 34.4% (2000 census)


Languages:
German 94.5% (official) (Alemannic is the main dialect), Italian 1.1%, other 4.3% (2010 est.)


Religions:
Roman Catholic (official) 75.9%, Protestant Reformed 6.5%, Muslim 5.4%, Lutheran 1.3%, other 2.9%, none 5.4%, unspecified 2.6% (2010 est.)


Population:
37,313 (July 2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 214


Age structure:
0-14 years:15.7% (male 3,130/female 2,744)
15-24 years:11.7% (male 2,160/female 2,197)
25-54 years:43.1% (male 8,029/female 8,069)
55-64 years:13.4% (male 2,479/female 2,535)
65 years and over:15.4% (male 2,713/female 3,257) (2014 est.)


Median age:
total:42.4 years
male:41.3 years
female:43.5 years (2014 est.)


Population growth rate:
0.82% (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 134


Birth rate:
10.53 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 183


Death rate:
7.02 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 131


Net migration rate:
4.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 27


Urbanization:
urban population:14.4% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization:0.53% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)


Major urban areas - population:
VADUZ (capital) 5,000 (2011)


Sex ratio:
at birth:1.26 male(s)/female
0-14 years:1.14 male(s)/female
15-24 years:0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years:1 male(s)/female
55-64 years:0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.81 male(s)/female
total population:0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)


    Infant mortality rate:
total:4.33 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 191
male:4.62 deaths/1,000 live births
female:3.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:
total population:81.68 yearscountry comparison to the world: 13
male:79.52 years
female:84.4 years (2014 est.)


Total fertility rate:
1.69 children born/woman (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 173


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA


HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA


Education expenditures:
2.1% of GDP (2008)country comparison to the world: 166

Literacy:
definition:age 10 and over can read and write
total population:100%
male:100%
female:100%


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total:15 years
male:16 years
female:14 years (2011)


Government


Country name:
conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein
conventional short form:Liechtenstein
local long form:Fuerstentum Liechtenstein
local short form:Liechtenstein


Government type:
hereditary constitutional monarchy


Capital:
name:Vaduz
geographic coordinates:47 08 N, 9 31 E
time difference:UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:
11 communes (Gemeinden, singular - Gemeinde); Balzers, Eschen, Gamprin, Mauren, Planken, Ruggell, Schaan, Schellenberg, Triesen, Triesenberg, Vaduz


Independence:
23 January 1719 (Principality of Liechtenstein established); 12 July 1806 (independence from the Holy Roman Empire); 24 August 1866 (independence from the German Confederation)


National holiday:
Assumption Day, 15 August


Constitution:
previous 1862; latest adopted 5 October 1921; amended many times, last in 2011 (2013)


Legal system:
civil law system influenced by Swiss, Austrian, and German law


International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal


Executive branch:
chief of state:Prince HANS ADAM II (since 13 November 1989, assumed executive powers on 26 August 1984); Heir Apparent Prince ALOIS, son of the monarch (born 11 June 1968); note - on 15 August 2004, HANS ADAM transferred the official duties of the ruling prince to ALOIS, but HANS ADAM retains status of chief of state
head of government:Head of Government (Prime Minister) Adrian HASLER (since 27 March 2013)
cabinet:Cabinet elected by the Parliament, confirmed by the monarch
elections:the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the Landtag usually appointed the head of government by the monarch and the leader of the largest minority party in the Landtag usually appointed the deputy head of government by the monarch if there is a coalition government


    Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Landtag (25 seats; members elected by popular vote under proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections:last held on 3 February 2013 (next to be held in February 2017)
election results:percent of vote by party - FBP 40.0%, VU 33.5%, DU 15.3% FL 11.1%; seats by party - FBP 10, VU 8, DU 4, FL 3


Judicial branch:
highest court(s):Supreme Court or Oberster Gerichtshof (consists of 5 judges); Constitutional Court or Verfassungsgericht (consists of 5 judges and 5 alternates)
judge selection and term of office:judges of both courts elected by the Landtag and appointed by the monarch; Supreme Court judges serve 4-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judge tenure NA
subordinate courts:Court of Appeal or Obergericht (second instance), Court of Justice (first instance), Administrative Court, county courts


Political parties and leaders:
The Free List (Die Freie Liste) or FL [Wolfgang MARXER]
the independents (Die Unabhaengigen) or DU [Harry QUADERER]
Progressive Citizens' Party (Fortschrittliche Buergerpartei) or FBP [Alexander BATLINER]
Fatherland Union (Vaterlaendische Union) or VU [Jakob BUECHEL]


Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA


International organization participation:
CD, CE, EBRD, EFTA, IAEA, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UPU, WIPO, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission:Ambassador Claudia FRITSCHE (since 7 December 2000)
chancery:2900 K Street, NW, Suite 602B, Washington, DC 20007
telephone:[1] (202) 331-0590
FAX:[1] (202) 331-3221


Diplomatic representation from the US:
name:'Oben am jungen Rhein' (High Above the Young Rhine)

lyrics/music:Jakob Joseph JAUCH/Josef FROMMELT
note:adopted 1850, revised 1963; the anthem uses the tune of 'God Save the Queen'


Economy


Economy - overview:
Despite its small size and limited natural resources, Liechtenstein has developed into a prosperous, highly industrialized, free-enterprise economy with a vital financial service sector and likely the second highest per capita income in the world. The Liechtenstein economy is widely diversified with a large number of small businesses. Low business taxes - the maximum tax rate is 20% - and easy incorporation rules have induced many holding companies to establish nominal offices in Liechtenstein providing 30% of state revenues. The country participates in a customs union with Switzerland and uses the Swiss franc as its national currency. It imports more than 90% of its energy requirements. Liechtenstein has been a member of the European Economic Area (an organization serving as a bridge between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the EU) since May 1995. The government is working to harmonize its economic policies with those of an integrated Europe. Since 2008, Liechtenstein has faced renewed international pressure - particularly from Germany - to improve transparency in its banking and tax systems. In December 2008, Liechtenstein signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the US. Upon Liechtenstein's conclusion of 12 bilateral information-sharing agreements, the OECD in October 2009 removed the principality from its 'grey list' of countries that had yet to implement the organization's Model Tax Convention. By the end of 2010, Liechtenstein had signed 25 Tax Information Exchange Agreements or Double Tax Agreements. In 2011 Liechtenstein joined the Schengen area, which allows passport-free travel across 26 European countries.


GDP (purchasing power parity):
$3.2 billion (2009)
country comparison to the world: 179
$3.216 billion (2008)
$3.159 billion (2007)


GDP (official exchange rate):
$5.113 billion (2010 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:
1.8% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
-0.5% (2009 est.)
3.1% (2007 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):
$89,400 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
$90,600 (2008 est.)
$89,700 (2007 est.)


GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture:8%
industry:37%
services:55% (2009)


Agriculture - products:
wheat, barley, corn, potatoes; livestock, dairy products


Industries:
electronics, metal manufacturing, dental products, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, food products, precision instruments, tourism, optical instruments


Industrial production growth rate:
NA%


Labor force:
35,830 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 202
note:51% of the labor force in Liechtenstein commuted daily from Austria, Switzerland, or Germany (2012)



Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture:0.8%
industry:39.4%
services:59.9% (2012)


    Unemployment rate:
2.3% (2012)
country comparison to the world: 18
2.5% (2011)


Population below poverty line:
NA%


Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%:NA%
highest 10%:NA%


Budget:
revenues:$995.3 million
expenditures:$890.4 million (2011 est.)


Taxes and other revenues:
25.2% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-1.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75


Fiscal year:
calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.7% (2012)
country comparison to the world: 4
0.2% (2011)


Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA


Exports:
$3.801 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
$3.757 billion (2011 est.)
note:trade data exclude trade with Switzerland


Exports - commodities:
small specialty machinery, connectors for audio and video, parts for motor vehicles, dental products, hardware, prepared foodstuffs, electronic equipment, optical products


Imports:
$2.09 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
$2.218 billion (2011 est.)
note:trade data exclude trade with Switzerland


Imports - commodities:
agricultural products, raw materials, energy products, machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs, motor vehicles


Debt - external:
$0 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 201

Exchange rates:
Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -
0.9542 (2013)
0.9374 (2012)
1.0429 (2010)
1.0881 (2009)
1.0774 (2008)


Energy


Electricity - production:
145.3 million kWh (2012)
country comparison to the world: 189


Electricity - consumption:
1.36 billion kWh (2012)
country comparison to the world: 148


    Electricity - imports:
1.214 billion kWh (2012)
country comparison to the world: 63



Communications


Telephones - main lines in use:
20,000 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 185


Telephones - mobile cellular:
38,000 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 204


Telephone system:
general assessment:automatic telephone system
domestic:fixed-line and mobile-cellular services widely available; combined telephone service subscribership exceeds 150 per 100 persons
international:country code - 423; linked to Swiss networks by cable and microwave radio relay (2011)



    Broadcast media:
relies on foreign terrestrial and satellite broadcasters for most broadcast media services; first Liechtenstein-based TV station established August 2008; Radio Liechtenstein operates multiple radio stations; a Swiss-based broadcaster operates several radio stations in Liechtenstein (2008)


Internet country code:
.li


Internet hosts:
14,278 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 128


Internet users:
23,000 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 190



Transportation


Pipelines
gas 20 km (2013)


Railways
total:9 kmcountry comparison to the world: 134
standard gauge:9 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified)
note:belongs to the Austrian Railway System connecting Austria and Switzerland (2008)


    Roadways
total:380 kmcountry comparison to the world: 201
paved:380 km (2012)


Waterways



Military


Military branches
no regular military forces; National Police maintains close relations with neighboring forces (2013)


Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49:8,009 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49:6,538
females age 16-49:6,746 (2010 est.)


    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male:219
female:211 (2010 est.)


Military - note
Liechtenstein has no military forces, but the modern National Police maintains close relations with neighboring forces. (2013)


Transnational Issues


Disputes - international
none


Refugees and internally displaced persons
stateless persons:5 (2012)


    Illicit drugs
has strengthened money laundering controls, but money laundering remains a concern due to Liechtenstein's sophisticated offshore financial services sector

Information provided by CIA - The World Fact Book



Doing Business in Liechtenstein 2020


           
 

 
Liechtenstein

  Ease of Doing Business Rank
Overall Score

64.8
 
 
Starting a Business (rank)

 
 
Protecting Minority Investors (rank)

 
  Score
73
 
  Score
30
 
  Procedures - Men (number)
10
 
  Extent of disclosure index (0-10)
2
 
  Time - Men (number)
46
 
  Extent of director liability index (0-10)
8
 
  Cost - Men (days)
2.2
 
  Ease of shareholder suits index (0-10)
5
 
  Procedures - Women (days)
10
 
  Extent of shareholder rights index (0-6)
0
 
  Time - Women (% of income per capita)
46
 
  Extent of ownership and control index (0-7)
0
 
  Cost - Women (% of income per capita)
2.2
 
  Extent of corporate transparency index (0-7)
0
 
  Paid in minimum capital (% of income per capita)
32.7
 
  Strength of minority investor protection index (0-50)
15
 
 

 
 

 
  Dealing with Construction Permits (rank)

 
  Paying Taxes (rank)

 
  Score
83.5
 
  Score
79
 
  Procedures (number)
8
 
  Payments (number per year)
34
 
  Time (days)
138
 
  Time (hours per year)
49
 
  Cost (% of warehouse value)
0.3
 
  Total tax and contribution rate (% of profit)
21.6
 
  Building Quality Control Index(0-15)
12
 
  Profit tax (% of profit)
6.4
 
  Quality of building regulations index (0-2)
1
 
  Labor tax and contributions (% of profit)
15.2
 
  Quality control before construction index (0-1)
1
 
  Other taxes (% of profit)
0
 
  Quality control during construction index (0-3)
2
 
  Time to comply with VAT refund (hours)
9
 
  Quality control after construction index (0-3)
3
 
  Time to obtain VAT refund (weeks)
28
 
  Liability and insurance regimes index (0-2)
1
 
  Time to comply with a corporate income tax correction (hours)
12
 
  Professional certifications index (0-4)
4
 
  Time to complete a corporate income tax correction (weeks)
15
 
   
 
 
  Postfiling index (0-100)
67.6
 
  Getting Electricity (rank)

 
 

 
  Score
96.3
 
  Trading across borders (rank)

 
  Procedures (number)
3
 
  Score
96.1
 
  Time (days)
52
 
  Time to export: Documentary compliance (hours)
2
 
  Cost (% of income per capita)
7.9
 
  Time to import: Documentary compliance (hours)
2
 
  Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index (0-8)
8
 
  Time to export: Border compliance (hours)
1
 
  Total duration and frequency of outages per customer a year (0-3)
3
 
  Time to import: Border compliance (hours)
1
 
  Mechanisms for monitoring outages (0-1)
1
 
  Cost to export: Documentary compliance (USD)
27
 
  Mechanisms for restoring service (0-1)
1
 
  Cost to import: Documentary compliance
27
 
  Regulatory monitoring (0-1)
1
 
  Cost to export: Border compliance (USD)
115
 
  Financial deterrents aimed at limiting outages (0-1)
1
 
  Cost to import: Border compliance (USD)
115
 
  Communication of tariffs and tariff changes (0-1)
1
 
 

 
  System average interruption duration index (SAIDI)
0.1
 
  Enforcing contract (rank)

 
  System average interruption frequency index (SAIFI)
0
 
  Score
59.8
 
  Minimum outage time (in minutes)
0
 
  Time (days)
640
 
  Price of electricity (US cents per kWh)
9.5
 
  Filing and service (days)
50
 
 

 
  Trial and judgment (days)
365
 
  Registering Property (rank)

 
  Enforcement of judgment (days)
225
 
  Score
74.6
 
  Cost (% of claim)
12.7
 
  Procedure (number)
8
 
  Attorney fees (% of claim)
9.8
 
  Time (days)
17
 
  Court fees (% of claim)
2.3
 
  Cost (% of property value)
1.1
 
  Enforcement fees (% of claim)
0.6
 
  Quality of land administration index (0-30)
21.5
 
  Quality of the judicial processes index (0-18)
6.5
 
  Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8)
5
 
  Court structure and proceedings (0-5)
1.5
 
  Transparency of information index (0-6)
3.5
 
  Case management (0-6)
1.5
 
  Geographic coverage index (0-8)
8
 
  Court automation (0-4)
1
 
  Land dispute resolution index (0-8)
5
 
  Alternative dispute resolution (0-3)
2.5
 
  Equal access to property rights index (-2-0)
0
 
 

 
 

 
  Resolving Insolvency (rank)

 
  Getting credit (rank)

 
  Score
41.3
 
  Score
15
 
  Outcome (0 as piecemeal sale and 1 as going concern)
0
 
  Strength of legal rights index (0-12)
3
 
  Time (years)
1.5
 
  Depth of credit information index (0-8)
0
 
  Cost (% of estate)
12.7
 
  Getting Credit total score
3
 
  Recovery rate (cents on the dollar)
47.7
 
  Credit registry coverage (% of adults)
0
 
  Strength of insolvency framework index (0-16)
5
 
  Credit bureau coverage (% of adults)
0
 
  Commencement of proceedings index (0-3)
2
 
 

 
  Management of debtor's assets index (0-6)
2
 
 

 
  Reorganization proceedings index (0-3)
0
 
 

 
  Creditor participation index (0-4)
1
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 



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