Rita Kieber-Beck is Liechtenstein’s minister of foreign affairs. Liechtenstein’s credibility has grown to the point where no voices question our right to exist as a sovereign state.One of Liechtenstein’s most impressive statistics is that with roughly 34,000 inhabitants, it provides approximately 29,000 jobs and depends on some 14,000 workers who come to work in Liechtenstein each day and return to their home country in the evening. Liechtenstein is a stable and growing location for business development for the whole region, notably in specialised, research-intensive market niches. Hilti AG is the global market leader in fastening technology. Hovalwerk AG is one of the leading manufacturers in boilers, ventilation systems and waste incineration systems and ThyssenKrupp Presta AG leads the world market in steering columns and camshafts. Far from being dependent on so-called mailbox companies, 40% gross domestic product stems from industrial products and goods made in the principality. Of course, finance plays a role in Liechtenstein’s economy, which has evolved into a model as a competitive and secure financial centre. Indeed it is assisting other countries in building up anti-money-laundering structures and fighting organised crime.The high percentage of foreigners living here makes demands on our society’s capacity for integration. But there is no doubt that, whether cross-border commuters or residents, these foreign workers have contributed a great deal to the prosperity of our country and at the same time broadened our horizons in many respects. In Liechtenstein we believe that what we have achieved over two centuries of sovereignty is worth celebrating and is a more than adequate answer to those who still think in the same dismissive terms as Sir Alexander Cadogan. The fact is that we are still here, two centuries after the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, when almost all the small German states vanished from the map. Liechtenstein was accepted as a sovereign state in Napoleon’s newly-created Confederation of the Rhine. It was in part a political gesture to Prince Johann I von und zu Liechtenstein and, perhaps, also to small entities – Napoleon himself being a Corsican. Closely linked to the Austrian Empire and, after its collapse, to Switzerland, Liechtenstein somehow survived intact through two centuries of turbulent history. Especially since the Second World War the principality has been eager to find its place in Europe and in the world, joining the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (1975), the Council of Europe (1978), the United Nations (1990), the European Free Trade Association (1991), the European Economic Area (1995) and the World Trade Organisation (1995) and signing up to the main international conventions, especially in the field of human rights, the fight against terrorism and its financing.
India failed to defend their title in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup junior hockey tournament on Sunday going down 3-4 via penalty shoot-out in the final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here.England’s Luke Taylor’s penalty corner conversion in the fifth minute was negated by a Harmanpreet Singh’s drag-flick in the 12th minute. Gurjant Singh’s field goal in the 42nd minute was followed up with a goal from Jack Turner — both teams were tied 2-2 in regular time.The resultant penalty shoot-out saw Britain prevailing 4-3.Britain, who earlier defeated two-time defending champions India 4-3 in the league match, began on a confident note, drawing the first blood in the fifth minute through a penalty corner goal by Taylor.The Britain team seemed to be in control of their game until India were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 12th minute, which was beautifully converted by Harmanpreet to bring India at par.The next 23 minutes in the first half saw a lot of attacks and counter-attacks but neither of the teams could capitalise on their form to find the back of the net.The second half began with India pressing hard to take the lead and they were soon rewarded in the 42nd minute with Gurjant pulling off an absolute stunner, giving India the much needed lead in the game.Britain however struck back four minutes later through Turner to settle the score at 2-2. The next 24 minutes saw numerous attempts to score from both the teams, but the efficient goal keepers and strong defence units ensured the match entered the penalty shoot-out.advertisement”Its hard to miss out on the title from somewhere as close as this, but its a game and this defeat today will only help us learn from our mistakes for the future. I am completely satisfied with the boys performance and I couldnt have asked for more from them,” India chief coach Harendra Singh said in a release.”Penalty shoot-outs are always unpredictable and its unfortunate that we could not finish it on a winning note. I would like to congratulate Britain on being crowned the new champions.”