Best Bitcoin Card for Lebanon
The Lebanese Republic is located in the Middle East and, with an area of 10 450 km², is about half the size of the German state of Hesse. In the west the country borders on the Mediterranean Sea, in the north and east on Syria and in the south on Israel.
The Mediterranean coast is about 220 km long, the plain behind it is a maximum of 10 km wide. To the east is the Lebanon Mountains, which reach heights of over 3,000 m (the highest peak in Qurnat as Sawda is 3,083 m). The mountain range runs almost parallel to the coast and flattens slightly towards the south. Further east, the Anti-Lebanon mountain range is parallel to the Lebanon Mountains, reaching altitudes of up to 2,500 metres. The main ridge of Anti-Lebanon forms the border with neighbouring Syria. Between the two mountain ranges lies the Bikasenke, between eight and 15 km wide, at an altitude of 800 to 1200 m, which is the continuation of the Jordan Rift.
The longest river of Lebanon, the Litani, flows through the Bikasenke. It rises at the western foot of Anti-Lebanon and flows into the Mediterranean after a length of about 145 km near Sur. The capital Beirut lies on the Mediterranean coast.
Lebanon is a parliamentary republic. It is based on the constitution of 1926, which was revised several times, and the Taif Agreement of 1989, which ended the civil war and contains general constitutional principles and provisions on the political system (distribution of political power according to denominations). The President must be a Maronite, the Prime Minister a Sunni and the President of Parliament a Shiite.
The head of state and holder of the executive is the President (since May 2008 Michel Sulaiman), who is elected by Parliament for a term of six years. On a proposal from Parliament, the President appoints the Prime Minister (since February 2014 Tammam Salam) and the members of the Cabinet.
The legislative power lies with the Assembly of Deputies (Madschlis an-Nuwaab), whose 128 deputies are elected by the people for a four-year term. In accordance with the Constitution and the Taif Agreement, the seats are allocated equally to Christians and Muslims. The abolition of confessionalism is already provided for in the Taif Agreement. Lebanon is divided into six administrative districts.
The civil war in Lebanon has caused serious damage to the country’s economy. With foreign financial aid and reforms, an upswing with stable growth rates took place in the 1990s. The war with Israel in 2006 once again hit the Lebanese economy. With the help of international funds, however, the largely destroyed infrastructure was rebuilt. The immense national debt remains a major problem.
Around 30 % of the national territory can be used for agriculture. This sector generates 6% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Arable farming takes place primarily in the coastal plain and in the southern section of the Bikasenke, and cereals, fruit and vegetables are cultivated. Livestock farming (sheep, goats, cattle) is concentrated in the northern part of the Bikasenke and the mountainous area. The population’s own needs cannot be met, food is imported additionally.
Many industrial enterprises were destroyed by the civil war. The industrial sector accounts for one-fifth of GDP, with a focus on food processing, wood and oil, and textile and paper production. Lebanon has smaller reserves of crude oil in terms of raw materials, other raw materials are salt, iron ore, limestone, copper, manganese and phosphate. The country has high hopes for the natural gas and oil reserves it expects to find off the coast. The country’s energy requirements are covered by imported crude oil, some of it by hydroelectric power stations.
Traditionally, banks and trading houses have economic significance in Lebanon. After the end of the civil war, their importance increased again, especially in the capital Beirut, and more and more wholesalers and banks settled again. The tourism sector also shows a positive trend. The payment orders of Lebanese living abroad also play an important role.
South Africa, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Syria are the most important trading partners for exports (primary products of the jewellery industry, paper, food and beverages, textiles). The main imports are oil, machinery, electrical appliances, metals and metal products from the USA, Italy, China, France and Germany. Beirut has an international airport. Besides Beirut, Tripoli is also an important port. The currency is the Lebanese pound.