Foreign Minister Frick Visits Washington
On September 23 Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick visited Washington. Foreign Minister Frick used the one-day visit as an opportunity to showcase Liechtenstein as an active trader with the US as well as internationally. The US is Liechtenstein's second largest trading partner (after the European Union) and Liechtenstein industrial companies are important players in the US automotive, construction, audio-visual, and dental industries, to name just a few. Internationally, Liechtenstein is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which is made up of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. As countries that are highly integrated into the EU's Single Market, EFTA is the world's 8th largest trader in goods and 5th largest in services.
Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick with Dan Mullaney, Assistant USTR for Europe and the Middle East.
As the current Chair of the EFTA Council, Minister Frick's visit focused on learning more about the negotiations between the US and EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which seeks to reduce barriers and increase trade in goods and services. As part of a trade dialogue established in July between EFTA and the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Foreign Minister Frick met with Dan Mullaney, Assistant USTR for Europe and the Middle East. She explained that within specific industries and given their geographic locations, EFTA members play vital roles in the European and US supply chain of goods and therefore have a keen interest in the development of the TTIP talks. Assistant USTR Mullaney welcomed the dialogue with EFTA and reiterated the USTR's wish to to explore discussions on bolstering trade and investment.
Foreign Minister Frick's visit also included a visit to The Advocacy Project, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and supported by the Government of Liechtenstein and for which Ambassador Claudia Fritsche serves as a member of the board. The Advocacy Project recruits graduate students, placing them as Peace Fellows, along with partnering organizations, in marginalized communities in developing countries in a grass roots effort to aid them in claiming their rights and producing social change.