Due to its limited territory and resources, Liechtenstein is very open to international trade. In order to benefit from the European market, Liechtenstein joined the EEA (European Economic Area) and the Schengen Zone. The government is progressively harmonising its trade policy with the European Union and Switzerland. According to data from the Office for Statistics (AS), in 2022 the country's exports were led by precious metals, steel and jewel stones, and chemical and pharmaceutical products. Investment goods (machinery) and metals continued to be the most important group of imports.
Liechtenstein mainly trades with EU member states and is part of a customs union with Switzerland. The country also uses the Swiss franc (CHF) as its national currency. Customs duties are low and there are hardly any trade barriers. The main factors that encourage foreign trade are a very liberal economy, an attractive tax system and sophisticated infrastructures. However, the country has a limited domestic market. Overall, the EU is by far the top destination for Liechtenstein's exports, followed by the U.S. In 2021, Germany remained the most important trading partner for Liechtenstein in both directions.
Liechtenstein has a structural trade surplus due to exports of high-value items. The country exported goods worth CHF 3.5 billion in 2021, importing CHF 1.7 billion (Office for Statistics - AS). However, it has to be kept in mind that data about foreign trade between Liechtenstein and Switzerland is not included in the most recent statistics, as the trade of goods with Switzerland is recorded at Swiss border posts.
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Member of European Economic Area (EEA)
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Latest Update: September 2023