Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein is a microstate in the Alps tucked between Austria and Switzerland. This German-speaking state is a constitutional monarch led by the Prince of Liechtenstein. Covering an area of only over 160 square kilometers, Liechtenstein is the fourth-smallest nation in Europe and one of the only double-landlocked in the world. Liechtenstein is widely known for its medieval castles and landscapes with the Alps as the backdrop. Its mountainous terrain makes the country a destination for winter sport.

Although Liechtenstein has limited natural resources, this micronation has one world’s highest GDP in terms of PPP. Its economy is widely diversified with more registered small businesses than the population. Its industries consist of electronics, metal manufacturing, calculators, food, anchor bolts, precision instruments, and pharmaceuticals. Along with the industry sector, the financial sector is the major contributor to its free-enterprise economy. With its mountainous terrain that makes the country a destination for winter sport, the tourism sector also plays a vital role in Liechtenstein’s economy.
 
In 1995, Liechtenstein joined the European Economic Area, an organization that bridges the gap between the EU and the European Free Trade Association. It was also put under pressure by foreign countries to better its banking and tax systems transparency.
 
The principality is in a customs union with Switzerland and uses the Swiss franc as its official currency. The nation used the Austrian krone and heller until it shifted to the Swiss franc because of the instability of the krone. No banknotes were issued by the Principality of Liechtenstein except for the emergency paper bills introduced in 1920 to supplement the coinage. These banknotes were in denominations of 10, 20, and 50 hellers. These banknotes have a color combination of red and blue and are presented in German. A common design element on their obverse is the crowned coat of arms of Liechtenstein while the reverse depicts houses, castles, and town scenes. 
 

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