Liechtenstein Politische Schriften
The population of Brunei consists of a large and diverse set of na- tionalities, among which Malayans and Chinese are the most important. Two-thirds of the population is Muslim; most of the remain ing people are either Christian or belong to a Buddhist religion. It is not surprising that quite a few languages are spoken in Brunei, given the fractionalized structure of the population. The most important are Malayan and the trade languages English and 
Chinese. Iceland Iceland is – like Brunei – a very special VSC for several reasons. Firstly, it is the island VSC with the highest level of welfare despite a not very favorable geographic location. Secondly, Iceland has attained a very high level of political and cultural autonomy, although it became independent only about 80 years ago, at the beginning of 1918. In spite of its inde- pendence, Iceland does not operate its own army, but is, due to the US- manned Icelandic Defense Force, a founding member of NATO. Unlike most of the VSC – with the exception of Luxembourg – Iceland is a member of nearly all important regional and international organizations. Note that Iceland is part of the EFTA and therefore also of the EEA, as well as a member of the OECD, OSCE, the Western European Union and the Schengen group, which is rather surprising for a country with fewer than 300,000 inhabitants. It is however not member of the EU mainly due to fears concerning open markets in several sectors and es- pecially due to possible problems associated with the fishing industry. Membership in the EU is furthermore not a political aim for Iceland at least within the next decade. Despite the unfavorable climate and the re- mote geographic location, Icelanders claim to be happier and more satis- fied with their lives than people of many other nations, although such comparisons suffer from methodological caveats (Jonsson and Olafsson, 1991; Kristinsson, 2000). Unemployment and inflation rates are amazingly low by European standards. The exclusive control over its territorial fishing grounds and the abundance of fish are vital to the Icelandic economy. It is not as - tounding that about two-thirds of Iceland’s exports are fish and proces- sed fish; main trading partners are EU countries and the USA. The se- cond important export commodity is aluminum, which is produced in 148 
The economics of sovereignty: «secrets of success» of very small countries


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