In Standard & Poor’s (S&P) biannual review of nation’s credit ratings, Liechtenstein was one of only 11 countries to receive the top rating of AAA. Although the interim rating is not as detailed as S&P’s annual review, it is an important indicator of the strength of Liechtenstein’s financial sector. S&P’s experts grounded Liechtenstein’s exemplary rating on its government’s skillful and adroit handling of international regulatory requirements. Liechtenstein’s highly professional international finance sector, outstanding per capita GDP, healthy public accounts, and lack of public debt place it among a select few global leaders of international credit, according to S&P.
S&P believes that Liechtenstein is likely to maintain this high rating for the foreseeable future, citing the nation’s balanced economy and proactive national policy making as sources of its success. Furthermore, the nation’s strong industrial corporations in niche markets and significant entrepreneurship in small and medium-sized enterprises buttress it against external shocks. The national growth rate is similarly anticipated to remain strong, based on Liechtenstein’s sound institutional framework and stable domestic environment. Policy makers in Liechtenstein are prepared to readily adapt the nation’s institutional and legal frameworks to accommodate any challenges that might arise.
Liechtenstein has passed regulations to comply with OECD initiatives to fight corporate tax evasion and avoidance, utilizing its strong economy to encourage investment rather than exploiting financial loopholes. Liechtenstein’s projected growth is also based on the benefits provided by access to both the Swiss market through its customs union with Switzerland, and European markets through its membership in the European Economic Area. The combination of monarch and parliament in national government result in predictably rational policy making decisions, and Liechtenstein enjoys a good return on government assets in financial markets.
Prime Minister Adrian Hasler was happy to see the impact of sound fiscal policy, noting that “I am particularly pleased, also, that S&P appreciates our adaptability and flexibility when implementing international standards and regulations.” The Liechtenstein Banker’s Association (LBV) noted that the excellent rating among a shrinking group of top ranked nations demonstrates the importance of stability in the international arena.