Delhi, 15 November 2010 - Liechtensteinís first ever official visit to India starts today with the arrival in New Delhi of Acting Head of State His Serene Highness Prince Alois of Liechtenstein and H.E. Foreign Minister Mrs. Aurelia Frick. Under their leadership, a high ranking delegation of political and business representatives will also visit Mumbai before returning on Friday, 19 November 2010.
Liechtensteinís official visit follows an invitation by the Government of India. Both nations established direct diplomatic relations in 1992. ìOur nations enjoy good bilateral relations in many fields and our visit to India emphasizes Liechtensteinís desire to deepen and broaden cooperation even furtherî, underlines His Serene Highness Prince Alois of Liechtenstein.
He and H.E. Foreign Minister Mrs. Aurelia Frick will today be calling on Indiaís President H.E. Mrs Pratibha Patil, Vice President H.E. Mr M. Hamid Ansari and on other Indian dignitaries for political talks. Tomorrow, the delegation will explore the India Trade Fair and interact with key members of Indiaís business community.
Visits to Raj Ghat, Birla House, Agraís heritage sites and the Elephanta caves in Mumbai will introduce delegation members to Indiaís rich culture and history.
Liechtenstein's official representatives are accompanied by a delegation of high-ranking officials, and a business delegation comprising senior executives of prominent companies and trade associations.
The strong business delegation stresses Liechtenstein's interest in strengthening and diversifying the existing trade and investment flows between the two countries, fully exploiting substantial synergies arising from their complementary economic structures.
Liechtenstein also wants to explore common interests with India on multilateral political and economic topics. The country is actively engaged in organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
"We attach high importance to the ongoing Doha Round and are fully committed to its successful conclusion, as we consider strengthening the role of international trade in the promotion of economic development as an important tool for a level playing field", states H.E. Foreign Minister Mrs. Aurelia Frick. "Liechtenstein has an interest to conclude ongoing negotiations about a broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement between the EFTA-States and India as soon as possible."
Liechtenstein, situated between Switzerland and Austria in the European Alps, is a constitutional monarchy on a democratic and parliamentary basis. The Princely House is one of Europe's oldest noble families.
36,000 citizens make Liechtenstein one of Europeís smallest nations. At the same time it enjoys a highly diversified and thriving economy, with a GDP of 5,5 billion USD. A strong entrepreneurial tradition, backed by a liberal economic framework and a focus on innovation, has given rise to a number of companies who are global market leaders in their segments. This is underscored by 800 jobs which investors from Liechtenstein have already created in India.
Industrial production accounts for an unusually high 39% of the nationís GDP and constitutes the largest sector. In addition, Liechtenstein is home to a highly developed financial services sector (31% of GDP) regulated according to international standards. Tourism is flourishing. Approximately 7,000 tourists from India visit Liechtenstein each year.
Liechtensteinís foreign trade policy supports a free and fair world trade system which prevents protectionism. Its highly developed, high technology based export industries are a catalyst for trade with India: In the year 2009, the direct trade volume between India and Liechtenstein amounted to 30 million USD, without counting indirect exports via Switzer- land. Direct exports from Liechtenstein to India accounted for approx. 26.23 million USD; direct imports from India into Liechtenstein amounted to about 3.64 million USD in 2009.
Ministry of General Government Affairs
Quelle: Portal of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Press Releases