Liechtenstein-based digital companies are generally happy about Liechtenstein as a place to do business. The legal landscape meets their requirements, and they find public institutions helpful. However, they don’t always find the personnel they need.
Liechtenstein should become the digital centre in the heart of Europe. A tech hub that leverages its strong finance community and acts as a gateway for international businesses to Europe; that was – and continues to be – the vision of Liechtenstein’s lawmakers.
But how much of this vision has already become a reality? We asked Liechtenstein-based digital businesses on their opinion, their challenges, and their ideas for Liechtenstein as a business centre. The survey participants are business owners who say digitalization is essential for their business models. The survey results give us a good picture of where Liechtenstein’s digital ecosystem stands today.
Most businesses say Liechtenstein meets their requirements
Overall, 83% of survey respondents say they are either happy (67%) or very happy (16%) with Liechtenstein as a business location. The reasons why they come here in the first place were predominantly because they expected good technological infrastructure, political stability, and tax advantages. Most businesses say Liechtenstein meets their expectations and that they would likely decide for Liechtenstein again if they had to choose a second time.
About half of the respondents said they view Liechtenstein as a hub for their respective industries. 78% said being based in Liechtenstein supports their business model, particularly in terms of the legal landscape. Creating legal certainty for digital businesses is also a key part of Liechtenstein’s digital strategy, so the survey shows that Liechtenstein’s efforts in this area are starting to pay off. The respondents also pointed out that Liechtenstein is doing a good job showing legal agility, meaning the government reacts quickly to new digital trends and amends regulations and laws accordingly.
On average, business owners say founding a business in Liechtenstein is not easy but also not too difficult. What makes it easier is the availability of competent consultants in public institutions. Also, information on what’s needed to register a business is readily available online. Some also say Liechtenstein’s eGovernment efforts make founding a business easier, but the administration still has a long way to go in terms of its digital services.
Most survey respondents say they do visit Liechtenstein’s digitalization events, such as the Digital Summit or the Digital Finance Forum. Most survey participants believe the digital infrastructure in Liechtenstein has improved in the last years, and they find cybersecurity especially important.
Businesses struggle to find qualified staff
When asked for the major roadblocks of doing business in Liechtenstein, the respondents named high personnel costs and a lack of qualified employees. The latter may be surprising, considering Liechtenstein’s proximity to the Swiss Crypto Valley and neighbouring Germany.
Businesses also don’t believe that digital education and training has significantly improved in Liechtenstein over recent years. The general opinion is that employees do have digital skills, but not enough.
Altogether the survey shows that Liechtenstein’s efforts to improve their standing as a location for digital businesses are going in the right direction. Remote working opportunities and more interconnectivity with neighbouring countries may in the future also help to close the human resources gap.