Coat of Arms
Prime Minister Tammam Salam
»10,452 km2 (166th)
»$80.077 billion (88th)
» Per capita -$17,754 (69th)
» Per capita -$10,530 (61st)
»Lebanese pound (LBP)
Lebanon is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south. Lebanon’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has dictated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity.
The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Phoenicians and their kingdom, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years (c. 1550–539 BC). In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, and eventually became one of the Empire’s leading centers of Christianity.
In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established. As the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their religion and identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, a religious divide that would last for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with theRoman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome. The ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era.
Lebanon’s economy follows a laissez-faire model. Most of the economy is dollarized, and the country has no restrictions on the movement of capital across its borders. The Lebanese government’s intervention in foreign trade is minimal.
The Lebanese economy grew 8.5% in 2008 and a revised 9% in 2009 despite a global recession. Real GDP growth is estimated to have slowed from 7.5% in 2010 to 1.5% in 2011, according to IMF preliminary estimates, with nominal GDP estimated at $41.5 billion in 2011. The Banque du Liban projects real GDP growth could reach 4% in 2012, with 6% inflation (versus 4% in 2011).
The urban population in Lebanon is noted for its commercial enterprise. Emigration has yielded Lebanese “commercial networks” throughout the world. Remittances from Lebanese abroad total $8.2 billion and account for one-fifth of the country’s economy.Lebanon has the largest proportion of skilled labor among Arab States.
The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon was established with the aim of promoting investment in Lebanon. In 2001, Investment Law No.360 was enacted to reinforce the organisation’s mission.
Lebanon is ranked 48 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 0.4479
Top 5 Products exported by Lebanon
- Gold (28%),
- Diamonds (5.9%),
- Jewellery (5.9%),
- Electric Generating Sets(3.1%),
- Scrap Copper (2.7%)
Top 5 Export destinations of Lebanon
The tourism industry accounts for about 10% of GDP. Lebanon managed to attract around 1,333,000 tourists in 2008, thus placing it as rank 79 out of 191 countries.
In 2009, the New York Times ranked Beirut the No. 1 travel destination worldwide due to its nightlife and hospitality. In January 2010, the Ministry of Tourism announced that 1,851,081 tourists had visited Lebanon in 2009, a 39% increase from 2008.
Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Japan are the three most popular origin countries of foreign tourists to Lebanon. The recent influx of Japanese tourists is probably the reason for the recent rise in popularity of Japanese Cuisine in Lebanon.
- Lebanon is a country rich in natural scenery from beautiful beaches to mountains and valleys. Lebanese people take pride that Lebanon is one of the few countries that gives you the opportunity to go skiing in the morning and going to the beach in the afternoon. Keep in mind that this is only actually possible for a few days in the year, usually in the few days when winter shifts to spring and/or summer shifts to autumn
- Beirut Downtown Visitors from all around get astonished by the beautiful downtown. At Place de l’Etoile, tourists can enjoy a delightful meal or a cup of coffee at the outdoor cafes. In addition to those, the capital provides other restaurants and hangouts that people of all ages can enjoy. There are many also many nightclubs, bars, cafes, and restaurants, catering to a diverse amount of styles and budgets.
- Baalbeck Roman Temples in the city of Baalbeck are among the largest and most beautiful Roman ruins.
- Al Bass Archaeological Site, Tyre, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest and best preserved Roman archeological sites in the world. The site is made up of a huge Necropolis, a massive monumental arch leading to a Roman Road, alongside which there is an excellent example of an aqueduct as well as the largest and best preserved Roman Hippodrome found to date.