Lebanon

Lebanon (orthographic projection)

According to the constitution of Lebanon, the country's economic system is free and ensures private initiative and the right to private property. The country's economy, most of which is dollarised, follows a laissez faire policy. Foreign investment is not restricted by the government and its intervention in foreign trade is also minimal. After the 2006 war, the economy went through a significant expansion and by 2018 the size of GDP increased to $54.1 billion (estimated). The country has a service-oriented economy, with banking and tourism the main growth sectors. The country's civil war (1975-90) destroyed its economic infrastructure, cut GDP by half and obstructed its position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Post war economic growth was made possible due to the presence of a financially sound banking system and strong medium-scale manufacturers, with international aid being one of the leading sources of foreign exchange. The Lebanese banking system has adopted a conservative approach and, consequently, the nation was unharmed by the 2007-10 financial crisis. Among the Arab states, the country has the largest population of skilled labour. Until July 2006, Lebanon's tourism sector was flourishing, but the month-long war — which erupted that year — severely damaged the tourism sector. A quarter of the country's national income goes to the top 1% rich adults, making Lebanon one of the most income-unequal countries in the world. The country has a large diaspora throughout the world and remittances received account for 1/5th of the economy. Lebanon has been ranked 137th out of 180 countries in Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. The conflict in Syria has led to the influx of over 1 million refugees which has increased social tensions and intensified the competition for low-skilled jobs and public services. The deteriorating economic situation over the years led to nationwide protests in October 2019 against the government of Prime Minister Saad al-Harari.

Its population in 2018 was 6,093,509 [1]

In 2015, 3.65% of its total energy
consumption was renewable [2]

In 2021, its GDP fell by 10.52% [2]

In 2021 it had a positive Current
Account Balance of US$bn 0.00 [3]

A Big Mac will set you back the
local equivalent of US$4.31 [4]



What free trade areas or economic unions is it a member of?

Member of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (EuroMed) since 28/11/1995

Other members:

Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, State of Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Türkiye


What trade deals are there between Euro-Mediterranean partnership and other countries and economic unions?

None


What trade deals are there with other countries and economic unions?

MERCOSUR - Lebanon free trade agreement (from 11/06/2024)

Pan-Arab Free Trade Area (from 01/01/1998)

EU - Lebanon Association Agreement (from 01/04/2006)

EFTA - Lebanon Free Trade Agreement (from 01/07/2007)

UK - Lebanon association agreement (from 01/01/2021)

Rich Pickings for Carlos Slim, a Financial Prodigy who Started Young — and Kept on Going

Wealth and status mean little to the founder of Grupo Carso who allows himself the occasional

Plus ça Change: Mired in Multiple Crises, Lebanon Votes for Continuity

In a scathing indictment of the country’s political elite, Lebanon tumbled some 25 places on the
Read more

CFI.co Introduces CFI Financial Group – No Relation, but a Shared Set of Values

The CFI Financial Group Holding is a leading trading provider, encompassing several regulated entities around the

Ayah Bdeir: Innovation, Invention from Mouths and Hands of Babes

Get them while they’re young and make it fun, says littleBits founder Ayah Bdeir, and we
Read more

CFI.co Meets the CEO and Chairman of FFA Private Bank: Jean Riachi

How would you describe your upbringing and career path? I was born and raised in Lebanon

CFI.co Meets the Chairman and General Manager of Cedrus Invest Bank: Fadi Assali

Fadi Assali, Chairman and General Manager of Cedrus Invest bank and Cedrus Bank, is a seasoned
Read more

Lebanon: Developing an Internet Ecosystem to Keep Young Talent at Home

High youth unemployment has led to high economic migration from Lebanon Creating an internet workspace could

From Lebanon to Brazil – Joseph Safra

A Global Presence The Safra family fortune – today expressed in billions of dollars – originated
Read more

CFI.co Meets the CEO of SSF: Sam Shawki Fawaz

Mr Sam Shawki Fawaz, managing director and CEO of SSF Entrepreneur, has accumulated over forty years

World Bank Group President Brings Hopeful Message to Middle East

Jim Yong Kim brings a message of optimism to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Jordan in his
Read more

Trade with the United Kingdom

Source: UK Office for National Statistics, October 2022.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.