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Liechtenstein: Economy#

Despite its small size and lack of natural resources, Liechtenstein has developed into a prosperous, highly industrialized, free-enterprise economy with a vital financial service sector and the third highest per capita income in the world, after Qatar and Luxembourg. 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 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 and the US - 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.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.2 billion (2009 est.)
$3.216 billion (2008 est.)
$3.159 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$5.113 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.8% (2012 est.)
-0.5% (2009 est.)
3.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$89,400 (2009 est.)
$90,600 (2008 est.)
$89,700 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 8%
industry: 37%
services: 55% (2009)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, corn, potatoes; livestock, dairy products
Industrieselectronics, metal manufacturing, dental products, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, food products, precision instruments, tourism, optical instruments
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Labor force35,830 (2012)
note: 51% of the labor force in Liechtenstein commute daily from Austria, Switzerland, and Germany (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 0.8%
industry: 39.4%
services: 59.9% (2012)
Unemployment rate3.4% (2014)
2.3% (2012)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $995.3 million
expenditures: $890.4 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues19.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)2.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)-0.2% (2013)
-0.7% (2012)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Exports$3.801 billion (2012 est.)
$3.757 billion (2011 est.)
note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland
Exports - commoditiessmall 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.)
$2.218 billion (2011 est.)
note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland
Imports - commoditiesagricultural products, raw materials, energy products, machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs, motor vehicles
Debt - external$0 (2001)
note: public external debt only; private external debt unavailable
Exchange ratesSwiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -
0.9992 (2016 est.)
0.9377 (2012 est.)