Lopatka: "New impetus for cooperation between Austria and Liechtenstein"
Roadmap for European Alpine Strategy defined
Vaduz/Vienna, 12 July 2013 – "The Alpine area harbours great opportunities for joint projects in the fields of transportation, mountain farming, tourism and renewable energies. Liechtenstein is very interested in the initiative for a European Alpine Strategy that we have launched together with France and other partners, and the country can provide valuable input to this effort. The partner countries are to meet in Vienna in July to discuss a strategy concept. At the EU summit in December, the Commission could then be given the mandate to work out an Alpine strategy", State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said after his meeting with Liechtenstein's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aurelia Frick.
Also on the agenda of the meeting between the Austrian State Secretary and the Foreign Minister was the role and work of the International Criminal Court (ICC). "We demanded at a very early stage that the serious human rights violations in Syria must be brought before the ICC. This demand is more justified than ever. Liechtenstein is an important and close ally in this matter. With the informal network of ministers, Foreign Minister Frick has created a platform for the mobilisation of the necessary political support of the ICC. Strengthening the rule of law is a central priority of our foreign policy, and therefore we support this initiative", Lopatka continued.
His meeting with head of government Adrian Hasler revolved around international tax issues. "Austria has the biggest interest in effectively fighting tax evasion and tax fraud. We are open to candid exchange of information if all countries participate. Competitive conditions must be fair for all financial markets. We are also in favour of disclosing all forms of investment. Exchange of information will only make sense if the owners behind the investment vehicles, such as trusts and foundations, are known", the State Secretary said.
8000 Austrian citizens commute to work in Liechtenstein every day. The State Secretary visited the Neutrik SA company in Schaan. Almost half of the company’s workforce of more than 200 people commutes from Austria. "I discussed measures that could strengthen the business location with deputy head of government Thomas Zwiefelhofer. 37% of Liechtenstein’s economic output is generated by industry and trade; the country is therefore a model for us in terms of its successful industrialisation rate. If we are to secure our growth over the long term, we need to strengthen Austria as a business location. An EU-wide industrial quota of 20% to be reached by 2020 is an important goal of our economic policy", Lopatka said.
State Secretary Lopatka also met with the community of Austrians in Liechtenstein and representatives of the Vorarlberg Grenzgängerverband, the association of cross-border commuters. "The activities of the Association of Austrians in Vaduz promote the bonds of Austrians in Liechtenstein with their home country. It provides an important contribution to the positive perception of Austria in Liechtenstein and to our good neighbourly relations. We value and are grateful for this important work", Lopatka concluded.
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