Slovenia-Liechtenstein Friendship Association
The Slovenia-Liechtenstein Friendship Association was established in Slovenia on 28 May 2012. It is our genuine wish to engage as many talented, hard-working and enthusiastic Slovenes as possible in the international, business, cultural, social and friendly relations in the family of European nations. Besides, we would like to become familiar with the Alpine culture again, since it has represented our common home for centuries and an area of new development possibilities and challenges for many nations, including the Slovenes.
Our members are striving to build a strong bridge of business and cultural cooperation and friendship in the Alpine region. We aim to be actively involved in the cultural, academic, tourist and business exchanges between Slovenia and the countries of the common Alpine circle, such as Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
We would like to familiarise our people with the culture of both countries in the spirit of friendship and nurture our mutual culture and historical heritage. We wish to establish our bilateral cooperation on positive business practices that can prove beneficial to our members, nations and countries we represent.
The Principality of Liechtenstein, which is governed by one of the world’s oldest noble families, ranks amongst the most successful countries in the world. On the basis of its business, social and cultural development, the Principality of Liechtenstein represents a role model for our people and inspire them to achieve their ambitious aims and overcome numerous challenges that our Slovene society is faced with.
There are 84 Slovene citizens living in the Principality of Liechtenstein. The Slovene Society in Liechtenstein has 36 members and is headed by Ms Marija Sigg.
Our main priority is to focus our efforts on strengthening the bilateral cooperation between Slovenia and the Principality of Liechtenstein. We cooperate closely with various public and private institutions in the region, which can help us achieve our international business goals: our aim is to strengthen business, bilateral, cultural and tourist cooperation in the Alpine macro-region, promote culture-based socialising activities, as well as foster mutual exchange and foreign investment. The first step towards the attainment of this central bilateral objective is the establishment of the Slovenia-Liechtenstein Business Institute, which was solemnly inaugurated by Prince Nikolaus von und zu Liechtenstein on 28 August 2017 in Rogaška Slatina.
Within the scope of activities carried out by the Slovenia-Liechtenstein Friendship Association, which is mainly concerned with social and societal issues, a programme containing business and project subject matters has already been devised, so that the Slovenia-Liechtenstein Business Institute, as an entity upgrading the role of the association, would be as efficient as possible and would therefore work to the benefit of our members and business partners, since it has been intended for everyone belonging to the common Alpine cultural circle.
Who we are and what we do?
Members of our international association are actively involved in the efforts aimed at achieving active, high-quality cooperation in various fields and coexistence in the countries of the Alpine macro-region.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein also participate in the EU strategy for the Alpine macro-region. Slovenia was the first country to chair this newly established EU strategy for the Alpine region in 2016. For many years, both countries have also been cooperating in the areas related to the environment and space, sustainable development and the protection of the Alps within the framework of the Alpine Convention.
The annual working meeting of state secretaries working at the Foreign Ministries of Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Slovenia is also very important. In 2018, the meeting will be hosted by Slovenia.
Bilateral trade in goods between Liechtenstein and Slovenia has been increasing throughout these years. Between 2011 and 2016, it quadrupled (in 2016, it amounted to 8.851 million EUR) and this positive trend is continuing in 2018. The scope of bilateral trade in services is also expanding: in 2016, it reached 7.8 million EUR. The value of direct investments from Liechtenstein to Slovenia is increasing as well, reaching 35 million EUR in 2015, whereas investments from Slovenia to Liechtenstein amounted to 2.3 million EUR. Liechtenstein’s GDP per capita is a slightly higher than 100,000 EUR, which places Liechtenstein among the most developed countries in the world.
In spite of having only about 37,000 citizens, the Principality of Liechtenstein is considered one of the technologically most advanced and innovative countries in the world. The country has created as many jobs as it has citizens, and consequently around half of all employees come to work to Liechtenstein from other countries, mostly from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Liechtensteiner companies have also created several thousand jobs abroad. Therefore, Liechtenstein is not only engaged in banking business, as some mistakenly think.
In the years following Slovenia’s independence, there were a few important bilateral visits at the highest levels of government. Bilateral relations have been strengthened, as well as the cooperation in the framework of international organisations and institutions, primarily those from the United Nations system and those in the framework of the Council of Europe and OSCE. The two countries have generally similar views on human rights issues, security policy and peace-building in the world, seeking further development and ensuring respect for international law, international development, humanitarian aid, environmental protection, etc.
Vision, goals, mission
The vision of our association is to strengthen the ties between the two countries, which are already quite strong due to certain historical, geographical and cultural links.
The mission and main goals of our association are to establish close cooperation between private individuals and business entities of both countries, as well as to foster bilateral relations between Slovenia and Liechtenstein. Furthermore, we are also striving to do our best to facilitate contacts between entities and potential partners from both countries.