Situated at the heart of Europe the Principality of Liechtenstein is located between the states of Austria and Switzerland. With a population of 40 000 inhabitants living in an area of just 160 square kilometres, Liechtenstein is a constitutional hereditary monarchy built on a democratic parliamentary basis. H.S.H. Hereditary Prince Alois is performing the duties of Head of State of the Principality of Liechtenstein since 2004 upon his appointment by H.S.H. Prince Hans-Adam II as his permanent representative for exercising his sovereign powers.
The Principality has a currency and customs union with Switzerland. It is also a member of the UN and it belongs to the European Economic Area (EEA). In economic terms, Liechtenstein is characterised by a constant low level of unemployment and the highest GDP per capita in the world. The country is free of public debt and for years it has enjoyed AAA credit rating.
Liechtenstein has a liberal and flexible legislative structure combined with very strict banking and trust secrecy laws. Banking and professional secrecy is one of Liechtenstein's strongest virtues.