Diplomatic Representation of Berlin (D)

Bilateral relations with Germany

Traditionally the ties between Liechtenstein and Germany have been very close. For centuries, the two countries share a common history and culture, in particular the German language.

Being part of the German-speaking cultural area, for instance, led to a close cooperation between Liechtenstein and the Goethe Institute which was intensified by a joint declaration in the beginning of 2013. Writers and novelists from Liechtenstein present themselves and their work all over Germany or are cooperating with German publishers. Additionally, Liechtenstein supports an artists-in-residence-program which gives Liechtenstein-artists from all different kinds of genres the opportunity to spend a few months in a studio in the city centre of Berlin. Further, the strong relationship between the Liechtenstein National Museum and the Liechtenstein Museum of Art has in the past also led to extraordinary joint exhibition-projects. One of them was the great exhibition of the Arte Povera Collection of the Liechtenstein Museum of Art in Weimar in 2012. Certainly Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who visited Liechtenstein in 1788 returning from Rome, had very frequent interactions with the Princely House of Liechtenstein at his time. Today a special Liechtenstein-Weimar-Club, the Kulturkreis Liechtenstein-Weimar, stands for these excellent relations.

In the area of political relations the close ties between Germany and Liechtenstein can best be seen in the frequent bilateral interactions, as well as the intensive cooperation within the European Economic Area, the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and other international organizations.

As far as business relations are concerned, Germany is among the most important trade partners of Liechtenstein. It is one of the top three export destinations for the industrial corporations in Liechtenstein and certainly ranges first as far as imports by Liechtenstein are concerned. Per capita Liechtenstein exports total more than eight times the per capita exports of Germany.

Moreover, Germany is also of great importance to Liechtenstein’s economy, since Germany is the country with the most intensive direct investments from Liechtenstein. Companies  from Liechtenstein have created thousands of jobs all over Germany. Most of the subsidiaries are operating in R&D-intensive industries, for example providing leading technology to the German construction industry, communication technology, banking, food industry, solar industry etc. Conversely, since its acquisition in the nineteennineties, a large industrial company from Western Germany is one of the largest employers in Liechtenstein.

These intensive business relations have led to the conclusion of a comprehensive Double Taxation Agreement between Germany and Liechtenstein in 2011. Already 2009, the two countries have agreed on a Tax Information Exchange Agreement according to the worldwide standard of exchange of information and transparency of the OECD. Both agreements will provide a strong legal backing and contribute to strengthening even further the economical ties. 

Liechtenstein’s first Embassy in Germany was established in 2002 in Berlin. From 1999 to 2002 a non-resident ambassador was accredited to Germany and before that time, from 1919 to 1999 and according to an agreement of 1919, the Swiss Ambassador represented the interests of Liechtenstein in Germany. 2008 the first Liechtenstein Honorary Consulates were established in Frankfurt am Main and Munich.  

Berlin, April 2013

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  • Adrian Hasler
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