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Lebanon – Important Facts

Lebanon is a country located in the Middle East on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria and Israel. Lebanon’s rugged terrain and location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups within the country. The government system is a republic; the chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Lebanon is a member of the League of Arab States (Arab League).

The economy of Lebanon is a developing economy, with a private sector that contributes to 75% of aggregate demand and a large banking sector that supports this demand. The IMF forecast a growth of 7% for Lebanon’s real GDP in 2010 and 2011 following 9% growth in 2009 and 8.5% in 2008. It has the 54th richest GDP per capita in the world, and it is forecasted that Lebanon’s GDP per capita will reach 20,000 by 2015, making it one of the strongest economies in the region. However, the Lebanese economy was badly affected by the Syrian civil war. The institute of international finance forecasted a GDP growth of 0.7% for 2013.

The Lebanese economy experienced continued resilience, growing 8.5 percent in 2008, 7 percent in 2009 and 8.8% in 2010. However, Lebanon’s debt to GDP ratio remained one of the highest in the world. The International Monetary Fund issued a second report on Lebanon in October 2015, where its expectations of the economic growth rate were lowered to 2%, compared to the 2.5% growth rate of the first report, released in April 2015.

Real GDP grew 8% in 1994 and 7% in 1995 before Israel’s Operation Grapes of Wrath in April 1996 stunted economic activity. Real GDP grew at an average annual rate of less than 3% per year for 1997 and 1998 and only 1% in 1999. During 1992-98, annual inflation fell from more than 100% to 5%, and foreign exchange reserves jumped to more than $6 billion from $1.4 billion.

Important Details

  • Country ISO3 : LBN
  • Country Code : 422
  • Income Group : Upper Middle Income
  • Lending Category : IBRD
  • Region : Middle East And North Africa
  • Currency Unit: Lebanese pound (LBP)
  • WTO Member : No
  • Trade organisations : CAEU
  • world rank : 98
  • Regional Ranking : 10th in the Middle East/North Africa Region