The industrial sector is strong and shows great diversity. The emphasis is on the manufacture of machines, electronics, precision instruments, dental products, food and ceramics.
The sector accounts for a larger proportion of the workforce than in many other industrialized countries. There are many SMEs. Most of the industry is focused on exports. Despite its smallness, Liechtenstein is a world leader in loose teeth and sausage skins.
Exports are important because their own market is so small. Foreign trade mainly takes place with the EU countries, Switzerland and the US.
The customs union with Switzerland makes it difficult to measure the size of the trade.
FACTS – FOREIGN TRADE
Main export goods
machinery, electronics, dental products, metal products, optical equipment
Largest trading partner
EU countries, Switzerland, USA
Liechtenstein joins Schengen
The country will be the 26th to join the passport-free Schengen cooperation, which consists of a number of EU members and, previously, three countries outside the Union.
French criticism of Liechtenstein
At a G20 summit in Cannes, French President Nicolas Sarkozy accuses Liechtenstein of being one of eleven tax havens in the world. According to Sarkozy, other countries should avoid exchanges with these tax havens.
Voter no to abortions
In a referendum on allowing abortions, a majority voted no. However, the margin is only 514 votes out of a total of 11 510. Crown Prince Alois has announced in advance that he plans to use his veto on voters to vote for legalization (see also Social conditions).