Lebanon 2


Lebanon has a very high level of public debt and large external financing needs. The 2010 public debt exceeded 150.7% of GDP, ranking fourth highest in the world as a percentage of GDP, though down from 154.8% in 2009. At the end 2008, finance minister Mohamad Chatah stated that the debt was going to reach $47 billion in that year and would increase to $49 billion if privatization of two telecoms companies did not occur. The Daily Star wrote that exorbitant debt levels have “slowed down the economy and reduced the government’s spending on essential development projects”.

Lebanon 3
Lebanese Export Tree Map

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 agricultural sector employs 12% of the total workforce. Agriculture contributed to 5.9% of the country’s GDP in 2011. Lebanon’s proportion of cultivable land is the highest in the Arab world. Major produce includes apples, peaches, oranges, and lemons.

Oil has recently been discovered inland and in the seabed between Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt and talks are underway between Cyprus and Egypt to reach an agreement regarding the exploration of these resources. The seabed separating Lebanon and Cyprus is believed to hold significant quantities of crude oil and natural gas.

Industry in Lebanon is mainly limited to small businesses that reassemble and package imported parts. In 2004, industry ranked second in workforce, with 26% of the Lebanese working population, and second in GDP contribution, with 21% of Lebanon’s GDP.

Nearly 65% of the Lebanese workforce attain employment in the services sector. The GDP contribution, accordingly, amounts to roughly 67.3% of the annual Lebanese GDP. However, dependence on the tourism and banking sectors leaves the economy vulnerable to political instability.


Transportation in Lebanon varies greatly in quality from the ultramodern Beirut International Airport to poor road conditions in many parts of the country. The Lebanese civil war between 1975 and 1990 and the 2006 Lebanon War with Israel severely damaged the country’s infrastructure.

Lebanon 4
Road Map of Lebanon

Lebanon has an extensive road network throughout the country, generally in good conditions, though it varies. The main roads in the country are:

Beirut – Byblos – Tripoli – Aarida
Beirut – Sidon – Sour – Naqoura
Beirut – Bhamdoun Al Mhatta – Chtaura – Masnaa
Chtaura – Zahle – Baalbek – Qaa
Chtaura – Qab Elias – Machgara – Nabatieh
Tripoli – Bsharri – Baalbek

Part of the main road network have been updated to dual carriageway, four-lane motorways, which are the following:

Beirut – Tripoli. Length: 81 km.
Beirut – Kfar Badde. Length: 65 km.
Beirut – Mdeyrej. Length: 33 km.
Tripoli – Khane. Length: 20 km.

Beirut has frequent bus connections to other cities in Lebanon and major cities in Syria.

The Port of Beirut is a port of entry. As a final destination, anyone can reach Lebanon by ferry from Cyprus, or Greece. The Port of Tripoli (Lebanon) is also a port of entry and ferries usually come from Taşucu, Turkey.

Scroll to Top