Business and Economics
The 1975-91 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Peace has enabled the central government to restore control in Beirut, begin collecting taxes, and regain access to key port and government facilities. Economic recovery has been helped by a financially sound banking system and resilient small- and medium-scale manufacturers, with family remittances, banking services, manufactured and farm exports, and international aid as the main sources of foreign exchange. Lebanon's economy has made impressive gains since the launch of "Horizon 2000," the government's $20 billion reconstruction program in 1993. Real GDP grew 8% in 1994 and 7% in 1995 before Israel's Operation Grapes of Wrath in April 1996 stunted economic activity.
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. Burgeoning
capital inflows have generated foreign payments surpluses, and the Lebanese
pound has remained relatively stable. Progress also has been made in rebuilding
Lebanon's war-torn physical and financial infrastructure. Solidere, a $2-billion
firm, is managing the reconstruction of Beirut's central business district;
the stock market reopened in January 1996; and international banks and
insurance companies are returning. The government nonetheless faces serious
challenges in the economic arena. It has had to fund reconstruction by
tapping foreign exchange reserves and boosting borrowing. Reducing the
government budget deficit is a major goal of the LAHUD government. The
stalled peace process and ongoing violence in southern Lebanon could lead
to wider hostilities that would disrupt vital capital inflows. Furthermore,
the gap between rich and poor has widened in the 1990's, resulting in grassroots
dissatisfaction over the skewed distribution of the reconstruction's benefits
and leading the government to shift its focus from rebuilding infrastructure
to improving living conditions.
Beirut, the thriving port and business center
Important Links Related To Business and Economics
Lebanon Invest -website dedicated in spreading investment information throughout Lebanon and abroad.
Massroua Digital Business Network -website containing business information for Lebanon and Syria.
Welcome to Banque du Liban -website for the famous bank.
Business Life Magazine -website containing business news of Lebanon.
Association of Lebanese Industrialists -website for this select group of businessmen.
of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture of Beirut -website dedicated
to the growth and expansion within these sector of Lebanese business.
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