Ambassador Sparber meets with City of Atlanta COO Lisa Gordon and Paulina Guzman from the Mayor's Office of International and Immigrant Affairs. Photo: MOIIA

The ambassador of the small European nation of Liechtenstein made a brief stop in Georgia at the beginning of June. 

Ambassador Georg Sparber spent two days in the state, hosted by retired Macon physician Bruce Allen, who serves as the country’s honorary consul in the Southeast U.S. Mr. Allen in 2007 was appointed as the first honorary consul in Liechtenstein’s history. 

According to a posting this week on the Liechtenstein embassy’s website, Mr. Sparber met in Macon with Mayor Lester Miller, sharing information about Liechtenstein’s best practices for creating apprenticeship programs. The German-speaking country of 40,000 people is nestled between Switzerland and Austria, countries known for their manufacturing prowess and also promoting apprenticeship programs in the U.S. as a means to assuage labor pressures.  

Mr. Sparber also visited the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and toured both Mercer University and Wesleyan College. 

Heading back to Atlanta, he met with City of Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Lisa Gordon and discussed “common priorities such as apprenticeships, inclusion, and the promotion of women entrepreneurs,” according to the embassy. 

He also dined at Kaiser’s Chophouse in Sandy Springs, known for Liechtenstein Chef Peter Kaiser.

A History of Ambassador Visits

Liechtenstein ambassadors have visited Georgia many times before, from Claudia Fritsche in 2012, who came with foreign minister Aurelia Frick, to Christian Wenaweser, Liechtenstein’s permanent representative to the United Nations, in November 2015.

The most recent stop came in 2017 with Ambassador Kurt Jäger, who gave a lecture at the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta on the country’s unique model of engagement with the European Union.

While it’s not a member, the country is part of the European Economic Area, which extends the EU’s common market to three members of the European Free Trade Association: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. This is vital for a country that exports 95 percent of what’s produced there.

In that speech, Mr. Jäger outlined Liechtenstein’s history as a sovereign state and the system of checks and balances between its ruling prince and elected parliament.

He also described the achievements of its export-oriented economy, describing Liechtenstein-founded or -made products impacting daily lives of Americans, from auto components made by Presta Thyssenkrupp to Hilti fasteners, Neutrik audiovisual connectors and Ivoclar Vivadent restorative dental products.

Mr. Sparber’s visit on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter: 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...