Little country, big ideas

Liechtenstein’s foreign minister visits Portland to strengthen business ties with the Northwest.

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While Liechtenstein does little business with the Northwest, the country’s foreign minister Aurelia Frick visited Portland this week to build relations with the region.

In addition to meeting with Mayor Sam Adams and other officials, Frick appointed a local interior designer as an honorary consul for Liechtenstein in the Northwest.

Foreign ministers rarely touch down in Portland, and the one who visited on Wednesday bore a touch of glamour and royalty. Aurelia Frick hails from a speck of a country — Liechtenstein would fit into Oregon more than 1,500 times — and one that trades precious little with the Northwest. And Frick, a political outsider before landing the equivalent of Hillary Clinton’s job a year ago today, is just 34.

But Frick would like her landlocked principality, tucked between Austria and Switzerland, to roar like a mouse in the United States. She wants to strengthen U.S. ties and dispel Liechtenstein’s dated reputation as a money-laundering hub.

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