Lebanon (capital Beirut) and neighbor states
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: "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."
2011: 137.1% of GDP (ranks 5th highest)
2010: 133.8% of GDP
2011: a bad imbalance, exports only 25.9% of imports in cash value.
Main trading parter: Syria.
jewelry, base metals, chemicals, miscellaneous consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper
petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals
2009: 8.2% of GDP
2009: 1.8% of GDP (ranks 158th among 163 nations – near the bottom)
Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
Living in an urban area
Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 12.08 persons per 1,000 population.
Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
World Factbook: "Many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians."
World Factbook (2011): Muslim 59.7% (Shia, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Copt, Protestant), other 1.3% note: 17 religious sects recognized.
South of Syria, north of Israel. 225 kilometers of coastline.
Chief of state: Michel Suleiman (president) since 25 May 2008, Maronite Catholic, Independent. Head of government: Tamman Salam (prime minister) since 6 April, 2013, Sunni Muslim, pro-Western.
The president is elected by the National Assembly for a six-year term and may not serve consecutive terms. The head of government is the prime minister. The prime minister and deputy prime minister are appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly. The National Assembly has 128 seats, with members are elected by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation to serve four-year terms.
Hezbollah: in reaction to Israel's invasion of Lebanon in the early 1980s, Hezbollah emerged with financial backing from Iran, having in common with Iran a Shia orientation. Hezbollah was welfare oriented and had a military wing, called the Islamic Resistance. The latter was credited by many in the Arab world with having driven Israel out of southern Lebanon in the year 2000. Al Arabiya writes: "Upon the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah began consolidating power internally." In 2004, UN Resolution 1559 called for the disarming of militias in Lebanon, but Hezbollah has refused.
May 4, 2005: It is being said that Lebanon has a generation of young people who want or demand better government.
Al Arabiya writes that Hezbollah forced Lebanon into a war with Israel in 2006, and in 2008 it used its arsenal against its own people to occupy Beirut.
Because of its tightly regulated financial system, Lebanese banks largely avoided the financial crisis of 2007–2010.
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