Animals and Plants
The foehn climate has a very favorable effect on many plants. Although the country is quite small, Liechtenstein is home to 1,600 plant species, 800 of them in the mountains alone.
A total of three landscape regions can be distinguished: the Rhine Valley, the rising mountain slopes and the Alpine region. Liechtenstein is particularly known for the variety of orchids. 48 species alone have been counted in this small country.
Which mammals and birds live in Liechtenstein?
55 mammal species live in Liechtenstein, 17 of them bat species alone. Due to the differences in altitude in the country, the fauna is very diverse. Red deer, chamois and ibex live in the Alps. The golden eagle also finds a retreat in the mountains.
Many deer, but also foxes and badgers live in the transitions from the valley to the mountains. Different species of woodpecker and eagle owls can be seen at medium heights. The species that live in the valleys are more threatened than the animals in the mountains. Rare bird species breed here, including the corn crake, which is threatened with extinction. You can also spot whinchat there.
The return of the beavers
Beavers also feel at home in Liechtenstein. These animals are protected because they are very important for the environment. Many other animals also settle where they occur. But active beavers love to do one thing: they build dams.
With their buildings, they sometimes come into conflict with agriculture and flood protection. Especially the conservationists are happy about the return of the beavers, others curse them. Poor beavers, they only do what they have learned.
Did you know that a fully grown beaver can grow up to three feet and is as heavy as a deer? The beaver has been sighted again in the Alpine Rhine Valley since 2006, after having been considered extinct for over 200 years.
Liechtenstein – an industrial country and a major financial center
The Liechtenstein economy is closely linked to the Swiss economy, because the country is too small for an independent economic policy. Liechtenstein is an industrialized country, an international financial center and a country with a lot of high tech. 17 banks are registered in Liechtenstein alone. If you consider that only 37,000 Liechtensteiners live in the country, then that is quite a lot.
Industry, commerce and services all contribute to the prosperity of the country that claims to be debt free. Liechtenstein exports many of the goods manufactured in the country, i.e. exports them. These goods are machines and complete systems, but also precision instruments, i.e. small devices or special measuring devices that have to work very precisely. Food products are also one of the country’s important export goods. 40 out of 100 people in Liechtenstein work in the industrial sector, although there are also many small companies in Liechtenstein that have specialized.
Liechtenstein works together with the EU countries as well as with Switzerland and exports goods there. Liechtenstein and Switzerland thus form a common economic area. A large part of the exported goods go to the countries of the European Economic Area, a small part to Switzerland, and not quite half to the rest of the world. Important trading partners here are the USA, but also the Far East.
As a country located in Europe detailed by internetsailors, 60 years ago, Liechtenstein was still an agricultural state. This means that many people earned their living in agriculture. Nowadays it’s no longer like that.
How do Liechtensteiners get to work?
About 105 kilometers of roads lead through Liechtenstein. That is as long as the motorway route from Freiburg to Karlsruhe. The country does not have its own motorway, but there is a motorway running parallel to the Swiss border and from there you can exit. There are five motorway exits that lead to Liechtenstein.
Incidentally, 52 out of 100 employees who work in Liechtenstein come from abroad and commute to work every day. 68 out of 100 people who have paid employment in Liechtenstein were not born there, but of foreign origin. 52 of these come from neighboring Switzerland alone.
The principality as a tax haven
How can such a small country with so few people actually be such an important business location? Citizens also have to pay taxes in Liechtenstein. But these are much lower compared to other countries. The laws of the country encourage companies that want to invest their money here. If you don’t trust the euro, you might prefer to invest your money in Swiss francs and that is easily possible in Liechtenstein – the currency here is the Swiss franc.
For a long time there was also banking secrecy here. This means that the banks did not provide any information about the assets of their customers. This also attracted people who shy away from asking exactly where their money actually comes from. Today, Liechtenstein has to control much more strictly and see which people invest their money according to the law.