|Population||million (including Syrian and Palestinian refugees)|
|Language||the official language is Arabic, commonly English and French|
|Religion||Christians (34%), Muslims (61%). Druze (5%)|
|State system||parliamentary republic|
|Head of State||Michel Aoun – President|
|Head of government||Najib Mikati|
|Currency name||Lebanese pound – LBP|
|Time shift||+ 1 hour|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||22.3|
|Economic growth (%)||-10.5|
According to a2zdirectory, Lebanon is a parliamentary republic based on the 1926 constitution with the 1943 amendment (declaration of independence). The amendment was supplemented by the Taif Agreements of 1989, which ended the 15-year civil war. A specific feature of Lebanon is the presence of 18 religious communities, and the current system is set up to prevent clashes between them. The top constitutional functions are therefore divided (mainly to maintain the basic balance between Christians and Muslims) – the constitution divides power between the president (a Maronite Christian), the speaker of the parliament (a Shia Muslim) and the prime minister (a Sunni Muslim).
Since the fall of 2019, Lebanon has been going through the biggest crisis since the end of the civil war in 1990. The political, economic and financial crisis was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020. The crisis resulted in a 21% drop in the economy in 2020 and more more than 10% in 2021. State debt at the end of 2021 reaches almost 200% of GDP. Inflation reached 85% in 2020 and continues to rise, reaching 135% in December 2021. As a result of the crisis, the number of people living below the poverty line (more than 70%) and unemployed is increasing.
Lebanon is a developing country with a free market and a strong tradition of “laissezfaire”. The small area and the traditional composition of the economy (5% agriculture, 15% industry, 80% services) predispose Lebanon to a strong dependence on the security situation in the region.
As a result of the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional engines of the Lebanese economy (real estate, construction industry, tourism) stopped working, there was an outflow of funds from the country, the amount of funds coming into the country from the Lebanese diaspora was reduced by half (from USD 12 million before the crisis to 6 billion USD) and the banking sector, which had resisted for a long time, collapsed.
Lebanon is a country dependent on imports. Almost 80% of all goods are imported. As a result of the crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, imports into the country decreased by 40% year-on-year in 2020, and in 2021 they already recorded an increase of 20.6%. Rehabilitation of own production using suitable climate and natural resources is inevitable. In this context, there is an opportunity for Czech exporters in the field of food engineering. Other opportunities for Czech entrepreneurs are offered in the energy sector (renewable resources), the water management and waste industry (wastewater treatment plants, solid waste processing), the transport industry and infrastructure (land modernization (rehabilitation and modernization of roads), airports (expansion of the international airport in Beirut, modernization of signaling equipment and energy sources of the airport) and maritime transport).
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
- First aid: 140 or (05) 921 675
- Police: 112 or (01) 752 428/9
- Firefighters: 175 or (01) 445 300
- Civil Defense: 125
- Firefighters: 175
- Red Cross, rescue service: 140
- Red Cross, operations center: 05/458 200 or 05/458 205
- American University Hospital: (01) 350 000
- Saint Charles Hospital: 05/953 444
- Hospital Hotel Dieu de France: 01/615 300
- Weather information: 1722
- Information on telephone numbers: 120
- Beirut Airport: (01) 628 000 to 009
Important web links and contacts
An overview of important Internet addresses that can be used by Czech entrepreneurs interested in cooperation with Lebanon (addresses of government institutions, economic and financial institutions, and professional associations) is available on the Internet portal of the Investment Development Agency of Lebanon (IDAL) or on the portal of the Central Bank of Lebanon.
When searching for business partners, it is advisable to use the website of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Tender opportunities in the area of investment projects are published on the web portal of the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR). The annual reports of this organization available on the mentioned website appropriately map the situation of post-war reconstruction and development of individual sectors. Information on customs requirements is available at www.customs.gov.lb, but in the case of Czech exporters, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the development of customs tariffs between Lebanon and the EU member states agreed as part of the Association Agreement at www.eeas.europa.eu.
Useful information on establishing business relations with Lebanon is also contained in the trade and economy chapter on the website of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Beirut www.mzv.cz/beirut. The most suitable tourist information portal is www.destinationlebanon.gov.lb.
Search engines for Lebanese hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment centers, car rental offices, etc. are available at www.lebanon.com. A calendar of events taking place in Lebanon is available at www.lebtivity.com.
Lebanese Government Institutions:
- Department of Agriculture: http://www.agriculture.gov.lb/
- Department of Industry: http://www.industry.gov.lb/
- Department of Economy and Trade: www.economy.gov.lb
- Department of Transport and Public Works: www.transportation.gov.lb
- Treasury: www.finance.gov.lb
- Ministry of Telecommunications: www.mpt.gov.lb
- Central Bank: www.bdl.gov.lb
- Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR): www.cdr.gov.lb
- Investment Development Agency of Lebanon (IDAL): www.idal.com.lb
- Directorate General of Customs: www.customs.gov.lb
Additional sources of information about Lebanon:
general information: www.lebanon.com
Chambers of Commerce and Professional Associations:
- Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture: www.cci-fed.org.lb
- Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Beirut and Mount Lebanon: www.ccib.org.lb
- Association of Lebanese Banks: https://www.abl.org.lb/
- Association of Lebanese Industrialists: www.ali.org.lb
Other useful information:
- News portal: https://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/World+News/Middle+East/Lebanon
- News portal L’Orient-Le Jour (in French): www.lorientlejour.com
- Lebanese Foreign Police: www.general-security.gov.lb
- Yellow Pages of Lebanon: www.yellowpages.com.lb
- Lebanon-EU Association Agreement: www.trade.ec.europa.eu