Diplomatic Representation in Berlin (GER)

Bilateral relations Germany - Liechtenstein

Political Partner

The relationship between Liechtenstein and Germany is traditionally very close. The countries have been intertwined for centuries through their common history, culture and the common German language. In 2019, the Principality of Liechtenstein celebrated its 300th anniversary - among other things with a ceremony in Berlin.

The political relations between Germany and Liechtenstein are characterized by numerous bilateral contacts in various fields. Especially in foreign policy as well as in economic and financial policy, there is a regular exchange at government level. Liechtenstein also maintains close relations with the German federal states.

In addition to the bilateral contacts, Liechtenstein is also part of the multilateral network of the German-speaking countries (Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland). These countries meet annually at the level of their heads of state, in various ministerial formats and at the level of the presidents of their parliaments.

Through its 25-year membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), Liechtenstein participates in the EU internal market. The legislation of the EU internal market is therefore fully incorporated into national law and applied in Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is convinced that solutions to current challenges such as coping with the Corona pandemic as well as flight and migration, demography, climate change and digitisation can only be developed in close cooperation with its European neighbours.

Joint commitment to strong multilateralism

Germany and Liechtenstein work closely together in the institutions of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Their joint international commitment is in the service of the rule of law, the observance of human rights and the strengthening of multilateral cooperation.

Close economic and trade relations

Germany is one of Liechtenstein's most important economic partners. It is the most important country of origin or production for goods imported into Liechtenstein and, along with Switzerland and the USA, is one of the three most important export destinations for Liechtenstein industrial products. Germany also ranks first in Liechtenstein's foreign direct investment with CHF 6 billion (2017). Liechtenstein industrial enterprises are represented in Germany by around 30 foreign branches and employed 9,000 people in 2019. The subsidiaries of Liechtenstein based companies are mostly active in research-intensive and innovative fields. In Bavaria, for example, these include several thousand jobs in fastening technology or communication technology. The German headquarters of a dental technology company is located in Baden-Württemberg. In Thuringia, Liechtenstein based companies employ hundreds of people in the food industry and in the modern optical industry. In Saxony they have created jobs in the air conditioning technology sector and in Brandenburg in the solar glass industry. Conversely, a globally active German industrial group from North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the largest employers in Liechtenstein. In 2019, the large Liechtenstein based industrial companies created 58,200 jobs abroad worldwide.

Liechtenstein as a business location / research and innovation center

The industrial share of Liechtenstein's gross value added is one of the highest in the world at around 47%. The share of employees in this sector is correspondingly high at 37%.

Liechtenstein’s economy is strongly characterized by small and medium-sized enterprises. The number of companies has doubled in the last 20 years, and the density of companies is correspondingly high today: there is one company for every 8 inhabitants, whereas in Germany there are about 24 inhabitants. Liechtenstein invests over 8% of its GDP (around CHF 580 million) in research and development (2018). This makes Liechtenstein one of the strongest research countries in the OECD. The innovative strength of the business location is also pronounced, which is reflected among other things in the high number of new patent applications per 1,000 inhabitants.

Liechtenstein financial center / Bilateral and multilateral tax cooperation

After industry, financial services are the largest economic sector and thus one of the central pillars of Liechtenstein’s economy. A long-term financial center based on continuity and sustainability is therefore of fundamental interest for Liechtenstein. The close economic ties between Germany and Liechtenstein led to the conclusion of a comprehensive double taxation agreement (DTA) in 2011. An agreement on the exchange of information in tax matters (TIAE) was already concluded in 2009. The resulting legal certainty on both sides means that the two economic and financial centers are closely linked. Liechtenstein has been relying on full transparency and cooperation in international tax matters for over ten years and was one of the first countries to implement the Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AIA).

Cultural relations

The common German language enables an uncomplicated and multifaceted exchange between German and Liechtensteiner cultural practitioners, whether in music, literature, the performing or visual arts. For example, since 2012, there has been a close relationship with the Chamber Ensemble Classic of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In honour of the Liechtenstein composer Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901), once Court Kapellmeister of the Bavarian King Ludwig II, several concert series and exchange concerts were held in Vaduz, Munich and Berlin. For several years Liechtenstein has been present with its own stand at the Frankfurt and Leipzig book fairs. A lively, young literary scene has developed in Liechtenstein. In 2006 Liechtenstein opened an artist's studio in Berlin, as a result of which the German-Liechtenstein cultural exchange has become even more intensive. There is a long-standing cooperation between the Liechtenstein National Museum and the Winckelmann Museum in Stendal. A similar cooperation existed between the contemporary art museum in Vaduz and the city of Weimar, where the large Arte Povera collection was exhibited in 2012.

Embassy and Honorary Consulates

Liechtenstein has maintained an embassy in Berlin since 2002. Since 2008 there are Liechtenstein honorary consulates in Frankfurt am Main and Munich.

Berlin, June 2020


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