The financial service sector, together with the industrial sector, is among the most important areas of Liechtenstein’s economy. Political continuity, stability, legal certainty, a high quality of services, traditionally strong protection of private property and the privacy of individuals as well as many years of experience in private banking and wealth management are among the advantages Liechtenstein offers as a financial centre. The financial sector contributes around a third of Liechtenstein’s gross value added, is one of the most important providers of work and employs an above-average number of highly qualified workers. Through the country’s membership of the European single market, banks in Liechtenstein benefit from free movement of services in all EEA countries. This makes it possible for Liechtenstein’s banks to offer financial products backed with Swiss francs that are licensed throughout the EU.
Liechtenstein cooperates internationally on tax issues. With the Liechtenstein Declaration of 12 March 2009 the Principality committed itself to the OECD standards for transparency and exchange of information on tax-related matters. Through this Declaration, Liechtenstein offered interested states the option of creating bilateral tax agreements in order to work together effectively on tax fraud and tax evasion. By the end of 2012, Liechtenstein had completed Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) and Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) with 30 countries.
Early 2013 saw the launch of an integrated financial centre strategy developed by the Government, business groups and financial market participants. This broadly based strategy is essential in order to further develop Liechtenstein as a financial centre. On the basis of the Liechtenstein Declaration and resulting cross-border tax cooperation, in its role as financial centre Liechtenstein will focus on actively positioning itself as a specialist for the structuring and management of assets.
On 14 November 2013 the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein published a declaration in Vaduz concerning continued international tax cooperation. In this declaration Liechtenstein underlined its commitment to the current OECD standards.
This strategy focusing on strengthening Liechtenstein’s position as a financial centre is implemented through an ongoing strategic process. A committee of Government representatives and market participants monitors the implementation and gives advice on the strategic orientation of the financial centre.
The Office for International Financial Affairs (SIFA) is responsible for coordinating and implementing the financial centre strategy. The project management and monitoring is handled by a strategy office.