Economy overview: Civil War 1975-91 caused significant damage to the economic infrastructure of Lebanon, reduced production by half and almost completely undermined Lebanon’s position as a trading and banking center in the Middle East. The peace allowed the central government to regain control in Beirut, start collecting taxes, and gain access to key port and government facilities. The economic recovery was supported by a financially sound banking system and small and medium enterprises. The main sources of foreign exchange earnings are remittances from workers abroad, banking services, industrial and agricultural exports, and international aid. The Lebanese economy began to move forward decisively after the launch of the government’s Horizon 2000 reconstruction program in 1993. in the amount of $ 20 billion. Real GDP growth was 8% in 1994 and 7% in 1995, 4% each in 1996 and 1997, after which there was a decrease to 2% in 1998, -1% in 1999 and 1% in 2000. During the 1990s. the annual inflation rate has fallen from over 100% to zero, foreign exchange reserves have risen from $1.4 billion to $6 billion. Growing capital inflows contribute to a current account surplus, and the position of the Lebanese pound has been very strong over the past two years. Progress has also been made in rebuilding physical and financial infrastructure. Solidere, a $2 billion firm, is managing the rebuilding of downtown Beirut; in January 1996, the exchange reopened; international banks and insurance companies are returning. The government, however, faces serious economic challenges. It has to finance the recovery from foreign exchange reserves and resort to new borrowing, mostly from local banks. The newly formed government of HARIRI announced a policy to reduce the growing budget deficit and the burden of the national debt. The gap in living standards between the rich and the poor widened during the 1990s, causing the populace to become dissatisfied with the unequal distribution of recovery gains. See cheeroutdoor.com to know more about Lebanon Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $18.2 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 1% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $5,000 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 12%; industry: 27%; services: 61% (1998 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 28% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 0% (2000 est.).
Work force: 1.3 million people (1999 est.); note: in addition approximately 1 million foreign workers (1997 est.).
Employment structure: no data.
Unemployment rate: 18% (1997 est.).
Budget: revenues: $3.31 billion; expenditures: $5.55 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (2000 est.).
Spheres of economy: banking; food production; jewelry industry; cement production; textile industry; production of chemical products, lumber and furniture; oil refining; production of metal products.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 7.748 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 91.29%; hydropower: 8.71%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 7.86 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 654 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: citrus fruits, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats.
Exports: $700 million (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: food and tobacco, textiles, chemicals, metals and hardware, electrical equipment and products, jewelry, paper and paper products.
Export partners: UAE 9%, Saudi Arabia 8%, Syria 6%, USA 6%, Kuwait 6%, France 5%, Belgium 5%, Jordan 4% (1999).
Imports: $6.2 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Imports: foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, textiles, metals, fuels, feed.
Import partners: Italy 13%, France 11%, Germany 8%, USA 7%, Switzerland 6%, Japan, UK, Syria (1999).
External debt: $9.6 billion (2000 est.) Economic aid recipient: $3.5 billion (expected to be received during 1997-2001).
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Lebanese pound.
Currency code: LBP.
Exchange rate: LBP/USD – 1,507.5 (January 2001), 1,507.5 (2000), 1,507.8 (1999), 1,516.1 (1998), 1,539.5 (1997), 1,571,4 (1996).
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 700,000 (1999).
Mobile cell phones: 580,000 (1999).
Telephone system: telecommunications system partially destroyed during the civil war; its restoration continues; domestic: predominantly microwave radio relay and cable communications; international: satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (unstable); a coaxial cable links Lebanon with Syria; microwave radio relay only with Syria and through it with Jordan; 3 submarine coaxial cables.
Broadcast stations: AM – 20, FM – 22, shortwave – 4 (1998).
Radio receivers: 2.85 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 15 (and 5 repeaters) (1995).
Televisions: 1.18 million (1997)
Internet Country Code: lb
Internet Service Providers: 22 (2000).
Number of users: 227,500 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 399 km (mostly unused due to destruction during the civil war); with standard gauge: 317 km (1.435 m gauge); narrow gauge: 82 km (1999).
Roads: total: 7,300 km; coated: 6,350 km; unpaved: 950 km (1999 est.).
Pipelines: for crude oil – 72 km (not active).
Ports and harbors: Antilyas, Batroun, Jbeil, Jounieh, Naqoura, Sidon, Tire, Tripoli, Shekka, Az-Zahrani.
Merchant navy: in total: 71 ships (of 1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 379,705 gross register tons / 592,672 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of different types: bulk carriers – 10, cargo ships – 42, chemical tankers – 1, combined bulk carriers – 1, combined ore and oil carriers – 1, container ships – 4, liquefied gas tankers – 1, ships for livestock transportation – 5, refrigerated ships – 1, ferries – 2, cargo ships for transporting vehicles – 3; note: including foreign vessels registered here for flag of convenience reasons: Netherlands 1, Syria 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 8 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 5; over 3,047 m: 1; from 2438 to 3047 m:2; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; less than 914 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 3; from 914 to 1,523 m: 2; less than 914 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: Lebanese Armed Forces (includes army, navy, air force).
Total military manpower: male 15 to 49: 980,412 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 605,332 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $343 million (1999).
Military spending as part of GDP: 4.8% (1999).
International issues International disputes: Syrian troops have been present in the northern, eastern and central parts of the country since October 1976; The Lebanese government demands the return of the Shaba Farm area, the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which is why the Hezbalpah group launches its attacks on Israel.
Illicit drugs: minor production of hashish; The beer-Syrian program of destruction of crops has been implemented since the beginning of the 1990s, the cultivation of opium poppy and hemp has been practically destroyed.