How would you describe Liechtenstein to a farmer in Kansas in three sentences?

This post is part of an archived series of blogs called The LeVine Line, written by former Ambassador Suzan G. LeVine during her time at U.S. Embassy Bern.

12 August 2015

The question “How would you describe Liechtenstein to a farmer in Kansas in three sentences?” was recently asked as a part of an interview I did in Banken Magazin Aus Liechenstein. (here’s the article) and below is the initial answer.  When I reread what I had answered, however, I couldn’t help but think that, while I still agree with the answer I originally gave, there’s an answer that could make it much more real and salient for a farmer in Kansas or – frankly anyone across America – to understand some of the ways that their lives are affected day in and day out by Liechtenstein.

Fortunately, because of the virtues of social media, I can share an additional answer that is especially timely, given Liechtenstein’s national day this coming Saturday. After reading both, I’d like to know which you like more and what your thoughts are on language that best describes Liechtenstein.  Feel free to comment on this blog post or share via @AmbSuzi on Twitter.

Original answer:

I would tell them that Liechtenstein is a unique principality in the center of Europe with innovative and friendly citizens and some excellent wine. It is a leading financial center combined with a thriving industry with a government that thinks long term to find solutions to global challenges with the US and the rest of the world. And all this is surrounded by the majestic Alps and a beautiful castle overlooking the capital city of Vaduz.

Proposed alternative answer:

Liechtenstein, a country the size of Washington DC with a population of 38,000 people, demonstrates Klein Aber Fein (small but excellent) as well as how globalized the world is now. For example, have you ever used farming and/or construction equipment; or gotten a tooth repaired or listened to live music? If you have, there are very good odds that you’ve used or seen products from Liechtenstein such as Hilti equipment, Ivoclar dental products, or Neutrik electronics connectors.