Deputy Prime Minister Zwiefelhofer Visits DC

From March 30 through April 1, Deputy Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, Thomas Zwiefelhofer, made an official visit to Washington, D.C. Thomas Zwiefelhofer is also Minister of Justice, Economics and Home Affairs.

His visit began with a meeting with economic experts where they discussed the state of the US economy and the ongoing negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and European Union. Though Liechtenstein is not a member of the EU, it is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) (along with Iceland and Norway) which makes Liechtenstein party to the EU Single Market. Any changes to the EU's regulations on goods and services, adoption of which is a precondition to EEA membership, could have wide ranging implications on Liechtenstein's economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer with US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Deputy Prime Minister Zwiefelhofer was a guest speaker for a class at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He focused his lecture on Liechtenstein’s economic sector. He explained that Liechtenstein has a great entrepreneurial spirit, with manufacturing as the largest contributor to its economy. Many students were very surprised to hear that Liechtenstein has no public debt. Thomas Zwiefelhoffer explained that, while Liechtenstein is not free from its share of economic challenges, the country does have many inherent advantages. Some of these advantages include availability of highly skilled people, a simple tax system, and rapid decision-making processes within its government bodies.

Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer speaks to students at Georgetown University.

Deputy Prime Minister Zwiefelhoffer later met with US Attorney General Eric Holder who was accompanied by US Deputy Attorney General James Cole. Along with Robert Wallner, Liechtenstein's Prosecutor General, and Claudia Fritsche, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the US, the two discussed successes and ongoing cases of judicial cooperation made possible through the Liechtenstein-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and Tax Information Exchange Agreement.

Thomas Zweifelhofer's visit also included a visit to the US Capitol Building, the National Archives and was capped off with a reception at the Embassy of Liechtenstein attended by many close political, cultural, business and academic friends.

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