Middle East - LEBANON



Country Profile:

A small, mountainous country and historic home to the Phoenicians, Lebanon gained independence from France in 1943. Up to the civil war 1975 – 1990, it enjoyed a period of prosperity driven by its banking, tourism and agricultural industries. During this time it built up a reputation as the entrepot and banking hub of the Middle East, with many multinational companies establishing their Middle East headquarters in Beirut. The war devastated the country and caused most of the multinationals to relocate. However, assisted by a considerable amount of foreign aid, much progress has been made since the end of the war in rebuilding its economy and national infrastructure. Once again the tourism and banking activities have naturally made the services sector the most important pillar of the Lebanese economy. Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic republic.

Main Trade Partners:

France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, USA, China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Syria.

Main Industries:

Financial Services, Tourism, Agriculture, Cement, Food Processing, Wood & Furniture


3,971,941 (July 2008 CIA World Factbook est.)


10,400 sq. km.


42.3 bn. (2007 IMF est.)

GDP Real Growth Rate:

14.2% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

GDP per Head:

$11,270 (2007 IMF est.)

GDP per Sector:

Services 75.9%, Industry 19.0%, Agriculture 5.1% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

Stock Market Capitalisation:

$8.28 bn. (2006 CIA World Factbook)

Exchange Rate:

1 Lebanese Pound = 0.00065 US$ (Sept 08) 1 US$ = 1538.26 Lebanese Pounds

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