Geographically, the Principality of Liechtenstein borders Switzerland to the west and south, and Austria to the east. The Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein emerged in 1719 from the unification of the Barony of Schellenberg and the Earldom of Vaduz. The territory was named after Prince Johann Adam Andreas von Liechtenstein, who unified the country. In 1806 the principality was recognised as a sovereign state for the first time.
The Principality of Liechtenstein has been a member of the International Court of Justice in the Hague since 1950, represented at the Council of Europe since 1978 and at the UN since 1990. The country is also a member of EFTA, as well as the EEA and the WTO since 1995.
The financial services sector, which plays such an important role in Liechtenstein, owes its rapid rise primarily to the 1924 customs treaty with Switzerland. Thereafter, Liechtenstein’s entry into the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1995 was a key factor in its continued growth. These two agreements enabled the country to engage in cross-border business.