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The name Lebanon comes from the Semitic root lbn, meaning "white", likely a reference to the snowcapped Mount Lebanon.

Upon his arrival to Lebanon around 47 BC, Julius Caesar proclaimed "Lub"

"Na'an", Arabic for Lebanon, meaning "White-Land" in Semitic.

Occurrences of the name have been found in texts from the library of Ebla,


which date to the third

millennium BC, nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh (perhaps as early as 2100 BC). The name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian

Geology and Archaeology

Main article: Archaeology of Lebanon Lebanon is mainly composed of Jurassic age rocks overlaid in places with a Cretaceous layer, the oldest of which is sandstone, usually occurring at altitudes of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level.

Evidence of early habitation in Lebanon has been shown in flint industries dating to the Lower


Ancient history
Main article: History of ancient Lebanon was ruled by mohamed abadi who had a slave named mort Evidence of an early settlement in Lebanon was found in Byblos, which is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world,

and date back to earlier than 5000 BC. Archaeologists

discovered remnants of prehistoric huts with crushed limestone floors, primitive weapons, and burial jars left by the Neolithic and Chalcolithic fishing communities who lived on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea over 7,000 years ago.

Lebanon was the homeland of the Phoenicians, a seafaring people that spread across the Mediterranean before the rise of Cyrus the Great.

After two centuries of Persian rule, Macedonian rulerAlexander the

Great attacked and burned Tyre, the most prominent Phoenician city. Throughout the subsequent centuries leading up to recent times, the country became part of numerous succeeding empires, among them Egyptian Empire, Persian, Assyrian, Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman, Arab, Seljuk, Mamluk, Crusader, and the Ottoman Empire.

2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict

Main article: 2006 Lebanon War On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah militants fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for an anti-tank missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. Of the seven Israeli soldiers in the two vehicles, two were wounded, three were killed, and two were captured and taken to

Lebanon. The operation was made by Hizbollah in order to free Lebanese citizens which Israel had imprisonned. Israel responded by bombing and invading Lebanon, causing serious damage to Lebanon's civil infrastructure (including Beirut's airport). Beirut southern suburb was razed to the ground by Israeli airplanes. The month-long conflict caused a significant loss of life; some 1,600 Lebanese mostly civiliansand nearly 160 Israelismostly soldierswere killed in the conflict. In Israel, 3,970 Hezbollah rockets landed on northern Israel, many in urban areas. The conflict officially ended on 14 August 2006, when the United Nations Security Council issued resolution 1701 ordering a ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel.

Goldwasser and Regev were held for two years, without indication as to their health, until their

remains were returned by Hezbollah to Israel on 16 July 2008 in a trade for all Lebanese prisoners, both dead and living and attempts to fairly represent the demographic distribution of the 18 recognized religious groups in government.

High-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups.

The President, for example, has to be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, the Speaker of the Parliament a Shia Muslim, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Greek Orthodox.

Lebanon's national legislature is the unicameral Parliament of Lebanon. Its 128 seats are divided equally between Christians and Muslims, proportionately between the 18 different denominations and proportionately between its 26 regions.

Prior to 1990, the ratio stood at 6:5 in favor of Christians;


however, the Taif Accord, which put an end to the 19751990 civil war, adjusted the ratio to grant equal representation to followers of the two religions. The Parliament is elected for a four-year term by

popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation.

The executive branch consists of the President, the head of state, and the Prime Minister, the head of government. The parliament elects the president for a non-renewable six-year term by a two-third majority. The president appoints the Prime Minister,

following consultations with the parliament. The

President and the Prime Minister form the Cabinet, which must also adhere to the sectarian distribution set out by confessionalism. On 27 June 2009, Lebanon's president Michel Suleiman appointed parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri as prime minister after his pro-Western coalition, theMarch 14 Alliance, defeated a Hezbollah-led alliance in a June 2009 election. a national unity government.
[75] [74]

In November, after five months of cabinet negotiations, Hariri formed

In January 2011, the government collapsed after all ten opposition

ministers and one presidential appointee resigned due to tensions stemming from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which was expected to indict Hezbollah members in the assassination of former prime minister Rafic Hariri.

Lebanon's judicial system is a mixture of Ottoman law, Napoleonic code, canon law and civil law. The Lebanese court system consists of three levels: courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation. The Constitutional Council rules on constitutionality of laws and electoral frauds. There also is a system of religious courts having jurisdiction over personal status matters within their own communities, with rules on matters such as marriage and inheritance.

Foreign relations
Main article: Foreign relations of Lebanon Lebanon concluded negotiations on an association agreement with the European Union in late 2001, and both sides initialed the accord in January 2002. Lebanon also has bilateral trade agreements with several Arab states and is working toward accession to the World Trade Organization. Lebanon enjoys good relations with virtually all of the other Arab countries (despite historic tensions with Libya, the Palestinians, Syria and Iraq), and hosted an Arab League Summit in March 2002 for the first time in more than 35 years. Lebanon is a member of the Francophone countries and hosted the Francophone Summit in October 2002 as well as the Jeux de la Francophonie in 2009.


Phoenicia and its colonies.

The original design

The area including modern Lebanon has been home to various civilizations and cultures for thousands of years. Originally home to the Phoenicians, and then subsequently conquered and occupied by the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks and

most recently the French, Lebanese culture has over the millennia evolved by borrowing from all of these groups. Lebanon's diverse population, composed of different ethnic and religious groups, has further contributed to the country's festivals, musical styles and literature as well as cuisine. When compared to the rest of the Southwest Asia, Lebanese society as a whole is well educated and, as of 2003, 87.4% of the population was literate.

Lebanese society is very modern and similar to certain cultures


of Mediterranean Europe. It is often considered as Europe's gateway to Western Asia as well as Asia's gateway to the Western World. [edit]National


Main article: Flag of Lebanon The national flag of Lebanon, created shortly after independence in 1943, consists of three horizontal

bands; the top and bottom bands are red and of equivalent size, each consisting of 1/4 of the flag's surface, while the larger, middle band is white with a green cedar tree fixed at its center and consists of 1/2 of the flag's surface.
[3] [137]

The cedar tree, an emblem of Lebanon, symbolizes survival,

the white band


symbolises the eternal snow on its mountain peaks and the peace that Lebanon seeks. Red symbolizes the blood shed for independence. The top and bottom of the cedar touch the edge of both red bands. [edit]Holidays Main article: Public holidays in Lebanon Lebanon has Christian and Muslim holidays; national holidays are also observed. [edit]Television Television was introduced in Lebanon in 1959, with the launch of Tl Liban. Lebanon has ten national television channels, most channels in Lebanon are affiliated or supported by certain political parties or alliances.

Music festivals, often hosted at historical sites, are a customary element of Lebanese culture.


the most famous are Baalbeck International Festival, Byblos International Festival, Beiteddine International Festival, Broumana Festival, Batroun Festival, Dhour Chwer Festival and Tyr Festival.
[146][147] [148]

These festivals are promoted by Lebanon's Ministry of Tourism.

1. GENERAL PRESENTATION: 1.1 General characteristics 1.2 General Information 1.3 Legal framework of trade relations

2. TRADE STRUCTURE (1996): 2.1 Main imported and exported products 2.2 Trading partners

3. FOREIGN TRADE REGULATIONS: 3.1 Imports regulations 3.2 Exports regulations 3.3 Other formalities and documents

4. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS: 4.1 Banking system 4.2 Exchange system 4.3 Methods and means for international settlement

5. CUSTOMS TAXATION: 5.1 Applicable duties and taxes 5.2 Special provisions

6. FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC: 6.1 International transports 6.2 Telecommunications 6.3 Distribution system

7. USEFUL ADDRESSES: 1 GENERAL PRESENTATION: 1.1 General characteristics:

Official name Surface Population Density Capital Climate

Republic of Lebanon 10,452 square kilometers 3.1 millions inhabitants in 1996. 296 inhabitants per square kilometer. Beirut. The climate varies with altitude .The coastal lowlands are hot and humid in summer, becoming mild in winter (cool and damp) In the mountains snowfalls and rainfalls are heavy in winter. January 1st, February 9th (St Maron), May 1st, August 15th (Assumption), November 22nd (National Day), December 25th, Good Friday*, Easter Monday*, Ascension Of the Prophet Mohamed*, Ascension of the Christ, Eid ul-Fitr*, Eid-ulAdha*, Muharram 1st*, Mouloud*, and Ashoura*. Saturday- Sunday.

Main holidays

Weekly day off * Variable Dates

1.2 General Information Language Arabic and French are official languages and English is used in business circles. Lebanese pound (L). 1 US$ = 1595 L in 1996. GMT +2 (GMT+3 between June and October) Government offices and Business Monday to Thursday From 8H/8H30 to12H/13H/14H. Friday: From 8H/8.30H to 12.30 or to 13H Banks: From 8.30 to 12H30 from Monday to Friday. Saturday: from 8h30 to 12H. 1.3 Legal framework of trade relations: Lebanon is a member of the following international organizations: World Trade Organization (W.T.O); United Nations Organization (UN) and its main specialized institutions (IMF, World Bank, FAO etc.);

Currency Local time Working hours

Organization of the Islamic Conference (O.I.C); G-77; Lebanon is a member of the League of Arab States and signed economic and trade co-operation agreements with the Arab States and Eastern Europe countries, Turkey, the European Union and African countries. We may quote among others, the economic and social co-operation agreement signed with Syria (abolition of customs duties, free movement of natural persons), trade agreements were ratified between Lebanon and Cameroun, China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey and Ukraine. Besides, economic and social development co-operation agreements were also ratified between Lebanon and Iraq, Morocco and Rumania, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. Thanks to the co-operation agreements established between Lebanon and the European Union, Lebanon has been able to benefit from very low customs duties for some products with the countries of 15. In the near future Lebanon will be provided with a free trade area with the entire Mediterranean zone. Investment agreements were signed between Lebanon and Rumania (18/10/1994) and Ukraine (25/3/1995, and Cuba (14/12/1995) and Spain (22/2/1996). 2 TRADE STRUCTURE (1996): 2.1 Main imported and exported products:

Main imported products

Electric items Equipment and transport Metallic products Processed agro-food products Textiles and ready-made garments Chemicals 2.2 Trading partners:

Main exported products

Paper and paper products Textiles and ready-made garments Metallic products Processed agro-food products Plants and vegetable products

Main suppliers
United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia Kuwait Syria Jordan France

Main customers
Italy United States of America Germany France Syria United Kingdom


In Lebanon, foreign trade was liberalized and all suppliers are allowed to Export all sorts of goods and services in collaboration with Lebanese importers. Very often foreign firms resort to local agencies, which know better the country. 3.1 Imports regulations Foreign trade and customs regimes have been substantially simplified in recent years. Currently, the Lebanese government applies the lowest ad valorem rates in the region. It is within this framework that the Lebanese government abolished all discriminatory barriers against foreign imports. Lebanon does not impose any import quotas but it has maintained a complex system of Export and import licenses. Oil and oil products imports are restricted to twenty local firms. Import or Export licenses cannot be transferred to third parties. Export licenses are required for large consumption goods. Violation of the license requirements makes exporters liable to various fines determined in the Lebanese customs code. Goods prohibited for imports are as follows: Narcotics, Arms and military equipment; Cars older than eight years; Products threatening public morals; Products threatening public health; Certain agricultural products. There are three categories of licenses that are required for the import of agricultural products: Seasonal licenses: required for the import of fresh or frozen potatoes, onions, garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes, eggplant, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, green barnia, watermelon, sweet green pepper, pears, peaches, grapes, apricots, passion flowers, green almonds, lima beans and green peas. Licenses required all year round: olives, pine seeds, potatoes and onions for plantations and silk cocoon. Goods banned for import: All kind of citrus produce, apples, quince, sweet tomatoes, cherries, plums, almonds, strawberries, leaf vegetables, parsley, mint, coriander, spinach, thyme, lettuce, green onion, carrots, radish and olives. Lebanon has planned to prohibit in the course of 1997, the import of trucks and buses that are more than five years old. The following products require import licenses that should be obtained from:

The Ministry of Foreign Trade: Wheat, wheat by-products, olive oil, orange, juice, apple juice, mustard seed, silk worms. The Ministry of Industry: White cement, gypsum, tar, petroleum, fuels, fuels oils, gas kerosene, silk thread, pyjamas, electrical wire, unprocessed leather, telecom wire, copper wire, industrial machinery and equipment. Other Ministries: Pharmaceutical (Ministry of Health), Chemicals (Ministry of environment). In compliance with Lebanese customs regulations, imported pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs must bear specific labels containing the following information: The manufacturing and expiry date of the product; The products country of origin. Violations of the labeling rules are liable to sanctions under article 358 of the Lebanese Customs Code and can lead to the re-exportation of the infringing products. The Regie des Tabacs enjoys monopoly rights to import or Export in Lebanon. 3.2 Exports regulations Lebanon has not provided for any subsidies to domestic exports. Anti-dumping measures and countervailing duties are applied in pursuance of the legislative decree of August 31st 1967. As for imports, Export licenses should be obtained from: The Ministry of Foreign Trade for: Wheat, wheat by-products, olive oil, concrete, butane gas, hydrocarbons and liquid gas bottles. The Ministry of Industry: Unprocessed leather, tar, unprocessed silk, paper, cardboard, silk worms. Ministry of Agriculture: Potatoes seeds, eggs, pine seeds. To Export to Lebanon , the following documents are required: Original invoices for the goods showing their country of origin. These invoices must include the prices of goods and should be certified both by a Foreign Chamber of Commerce and Industry and recognized by the High Customs Council and by the Lebanese Consulate in the Country of Origin. If the cargo is imported by sea, a unique document is required duly signed by the carriers official and specifying the number of packages, their label, the nature of the cargo and the port of loading; Exporters must also produce a statement declaring that the goods are not of Israeli origin. 3.3 Other formalities and documents In January 1996, Lebanon adopted the Revised Harmonized Commodity Description/Coding system in compliance with the Customs Co-operation Council in Brussels.

In January 1997, Lebanon introduced a new Customs Declaration form, which conforms to the international Single Administrative Document. In January 1997/98, the customs authorities will begin the installation of an Automated System of Customs Data Entry (ASYCUDA). The first pilot unit will be installed at the port of Beirut. 4 FINANCIAL REGULATIONS OF FOREIGN TRADE OPERATIONS: 4.1 Banking system: In 1996, the banking system of Lebanon was made up of the Central Bank of Lebanon, 75 deposit banks of which 14 foreign banks, 18 investment banks and 7 long and medium terms credit banks. The central bank of Lebanon is restructuring its banking sector by developing capital markets through the establishment of regulations and institutions. Between 1995 and 1996, deposit banks and investment banks showed an average annual growth rate in their balance of sheet estimated at 29.9% and 82.4 % respectively. 4.2 Exchange system: The exchange rate of the Lebanese Pound is determined according to demand and supply in the exchange market. The duties and taxes on goods and services imposed by the authorities on services and goods are expressed in dollars in accordance with local currency. Banks do not finance transactions exceeding an amount of 500,000 unless such transactions are related to foreign trade. 4.3 Methods and means for international settlement: Banks are obliged to ensure that importers possess a valid import license before issuing letters of credit. Importers must place with their banks a deposit in local currency equivalent to 15% of the value of import letters of credit; however banks are not obliged to deposit such amounts with the bank of Lebanon. 5 CUSTOMS TAXATION: The Lebanese customs Tariff is characterized by low import rates. In 1995, the system was considerably simplified and ad valorem tax rates are among the lowest of the area. 5.1 Applicable duties and taxes: High tariffs are applicable to luxury goods. As a matter of fact a 100% rate is applicable to salmon, caviar, alcoholic beverages and watches, tobacco 25% and standard electrical goods 15%. Tariffs applied to electrical goods depend on the sophistication of the product. Fiscal stamps are imposed on transactions and documents, including certificates of origin, shipment documents, copies of legalized bills of lading and letters of credit. Duties amount to US$ 12 for certificate of origin and US$ 3.1for shipment documents.

5.2 Special provisions: In addition to import duties here above quoted, the Beirut Port Development Bureau levies a small percentage on overall duty imposed on goods entering Lebanon. 6 FOREIGN TRADE LOGISTIC: Transport in Lebanon is diversified and is made up of land, railway, maritime and air transport. 6.1 International transports: Road Network: Lebanon is provided with two international motorways. They constitute the north-south coastal roads linking Beirut with Damascus. Railways: are made up of three lines: Nakoure- Beirut-Tripoli Beirut-Riyak (Bekka); Tripoli-Homs and Aleppo in Syria and serving also Ankara and Istanbul. Maritime transports: The largest port is located 16 km away from Beirut and a second project is underway. Air transports: Lebanon is provided with two lines: Middle East Airlines and Trans-Mediterranean Airways. Middle-East Airlines is provided with 11 Boeings 707 and three Boeings 747. 6.2 Telecommunications: Telephone network in Lebanon is automatic. In 1993, the telephone network reached 35,000 national lines and 700 international lines. The installation of a cellular telephone network is also planned. 6.3 Distribution system: The distribution system includes national agencies and commercial representations that are the major suppliers. The latter are in direct contact with foreign exporters to Lebanon and wholesalers. 7 USEFUL ADDRESSES: ORGANIZATIONS AND PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS Ministre de lEconomie et de Commerce ADDRESSES TEL/TELEX/FAX

Artois Street Beirut

Tel: (9611) 345250 Fax: (6221) 349459

Chambre de Commerce et DIndustrie de Beyrouth

Rue Justinien B.P.: 11-1801 Sanayeh 2100 Beyrouth

Tel : (9611) 353390

Fax : (9611) 602374 Banque Centrale du Liban P.O. Box 11-5544 Rue Masraf Loubnone Beyrouth Tel: (9611) 865303 Telex: (9611) 20744