The Liechtenstein financial centre on the threshold to the third millennium - a neighbour's reflections

Bruno Gehrig, Member of the Governing Board

Generalversammlung des Liechtensteinischen Bankenverbandes, Vaduz, 30.09.1999

The 30th anniversary of the Liechtenstein Banking Association coincides with two other anniversaries of significance to the financial centre. It is just 75 years ago that the Swiss franc was introduced as official legal tender in the Principality of Liechtenstein, and in a few months' time it will be 20 years since the currency agreement was concluded with Switzerland. Liechtenstein's monetary integration in Switzerland has without doubt proved beneficial. Overall, it has had a favourable effect on the development of Liechtenstein's economy.

After gaining access to the European market, the financial centre now finds itself in a phase of transition. Yet it can face the challenges posed by ongoing change from a position of strength. In the decisive area of portfolio management, the restricted labour market is likely to become the crucial factor for success. After bringing financial legislation essentially up-to-date, the regulatory gap - which was once considerable - between Liechtenstein and other financial centres has been closed. The chief challenge now lies in a consistent and credible application of the new legislation.