Two economic areas
Despite the strong purchasing power enjoyed by Liechtenstein’s almost 40,000 inhabitants, the domestic market is very limited. However, free access to the Swiss market and the European Economic Area creates optimal conditions for a strongly export-oriented economy.
Since the customs treaty with Switzerland came into force in 1924, Liechtenstein has not only been part of Switzerland’s customs territory but has also used the Swiss franc as its official currency. This means free trade agreements concluded bilaterally by Switzerland also apply to Liechtenstein. Since 2011, the organisation Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) has also provided Liechtenstein-based companies with advice and information on doing business abroad.
Since 1995 Liechtenstein has also been a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). Businesses therefore benefit from the advantages of the EU/EEA internal market: the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. Liechtenstein has a special provision for the free movement of persons and the right to settle in the country, taking into account its geographical situation. Through its membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) the country also benefits from one of the largest networks of free trade agreements in the world.
Accession to the European Economic Area (EEA) on 1 May, accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 1 September.
Full membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
Accession to the United Nations (UN)
Accession to the Council of Europe
Signing of the Helsinki Final Act of the CSCE (now OSCE)
Accession to the statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Conclusion of the customs treaty with Switzerland