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Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French separated out the region of Lebanon in 1920, and granted this area independence in 1943. A lengthy civil war (1975-90) devastated the country, but Lebanon has since made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions. Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater voice in the political process while institutionalizing sectarian divisions in the government. Since the end of the war, Lebanon has conducted several successful elections. Most militias have been reduced or disbanded, with the exception of Hizballah, designated by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and Palestinian militant groups. During Lebanon's civil war, the Arab League legitimized in the Ta'if Accord Syria's troop deployment, numbering about 16,000 based mainly east of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley. Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000 and the passage in September 2004 of UNSCR 1559 - a resolution calling for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon and end its interference in Lebanese affairs - encouraged some Lebanese groups to demand that Syria withdraw its forces. The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq HARIRI and 22 others in February 2005 led to massive demonstrations in Beirut against the Syrian presence ("the Cedar Revolution"), and Syria withdrew the remainder of its military forces in April 2005. In May-June 2005, Lebanon held its first legislative elections since the end of the civil war free of foreign interference, handing a majority to the bloc led by Sa'ad HARIRI, the slain prime minister's son. In July 2006, Hizballah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers leading to a 34-day conflict with Israel in which approximately 1,200 Lebanese civilians were killed. UNSCR 1701 ended the war in August 2006, and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) deployed throughout the country for the first time in decades, charged with securing Lebanon's borders against weapons smuggling and maintaining a weapons-free zone in south Lebanon with the help of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The LAF in May-September 2007 battled Sunni extremist group Fatah al-Islam in the Nahr al-Barid Palestinian refugee camp, winning a decisive victory, but destroying the camp and displacing 30,000 Palestinian residents. Lebanese politicians in November 2007 were unable to agree on a successor to Emile LAHUD when he stepped down as president, creating a political vacuum until the election of LAF Commander Gen. Michel SULAYMAN in May 2008 and the formation of a new unity government in July 2008. Legislative elections in June 2009 again produced victory for the bloc led by Sa'ad HARIRI, but a period of prolonged negotiation over the composition of the cabinet ensued. A national unity government was finally formed in November 2009 and approved by the National Assembly the following month. Inspired by the popular revolts that began in late 2010 against dictatorships across the Middle East and North Africa, marches and demonstrations in Lebanon were directed instead against sectarian politics. Although the protests gained some traction, they were limited in size and unsuccessful in changing the system. Opposition politicians collapsed the national unity government under Prime Minister Sa'ad HARIRI in February 2011. After several months in caretaker status, the government named Najib MIQATI Prime Minister.


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Economy

Economy - overview
Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, complex customs procedures, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and weak intellectual property rights. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; main growth sectors include banking and tourism. The 1975-90 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and derailed Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Following the civil war Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily - mostly from domestic banks - saddling the government with a huge debt burden. Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the 2000s have mostly gone unfulfilled, including those made during the Paris III Donor Conference in 2007 following the July 2006 war. The collapse of the government in early 2011 over its backing of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and unrest in neighboring Syria slowed economic growth to 1.5% after four years of 8% average growth. In September 2011 the Cabinet endorsed a bill that would provide $1.2 billion in funding to improve Lebanon's downtrodden electricity sector, but fiscal limitations will test the government's ability to invest in other areas, such as water.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 87
$62.23 billion (2011 est.)
$61.31 billion (2010 est.)
$57.3 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$39.04 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 168
1.5% (2011 est.)
7% (2010 est.)
8.5% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 78
$15,700 (2011 est.)
$15,700 (2010 est.)
$14,900 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 4.6%
Industry 19.7%
Services 75.7% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 130
1.481 million
Note
In addition, there are as many as 1 million foreign workers (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture NA%
Industry NA%
Services NA%

Unemployment rate
NA%

Population below poverty line
28% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 11
34.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $9.334 billion
Expenditures $11.67 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 130
23.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 174
-6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 5
134% of GDP (2011 est.)
141.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
Note
Data cover central government debt, and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 133
5.1% (2011 est.)
4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 28
3.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
10% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 115
7.53% (31 December 2011 est.)
8.337% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 108
$4.072 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 55
$97.04 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 60
$69.25 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$64.12 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 67
$10.16 billion (31 December 2011)
$12.59 billion (31 December 2010)
$12.89 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats

Industries
Banking, tourism, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 116
2.1% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 91
10.41 billion kWh (2009)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 89
9.793 billion kWh (2009)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
1.114 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 189
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 72
106,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 170
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 72
78,760 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 152
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 203
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 196
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 131
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 85
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 195
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 177
-$10.92 billion (2011 est.)
-$8.909 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 112
$5.482 billion (2011 est.)
$5.467 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Jewelry, base metals, chemicals, miscellaneous consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper

Exports - partners
UAE 11.6%, South Africa 9.3%, Iraq 7.4%, Saudi Arabia 6.8%, Turkey 6.2%, Syria 6%, Egypt 5.4%, Switzerland 4.9% (2009 est.)

Imports World Ranking: 77
$19.89 billion (2011 est.)
$17.72 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals

Imports - partners
US 10.3%, Italy 9.5%, France 8.9%, China 8.3%, Germany 5.2%, Turkey 4.1% (2009 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 39
$48.14 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$44.52 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 71
$29.46 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$28.42 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$NA

Exchange rates
Lebanese pounds (LBP) per US dollar -
1,507.5 (2011 est.)
1,507.5 (2010 est.)
1,507.5 (2009)
1,507.5 (2008)
1,507.5 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Lebanon (Beirut):


  GPS points from Lebanon (Beirut)

Al Hima Mohafazat Nabatiye

`ayn Adh Dhahab Beyrouth

Dahr Al Awabir Mohafazat Liban-sud

Chehim Mont-liban

Wadi Ash Shi`b Mont-liban


Ouadi Charoun Mont-liban

Dahr Ed Dahab (le02)




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