Lebanon economy was seriously damaged by civil war held between 1975 and 1990. By the end of the war, the government has been able to take control over taxes, ports and facilities, which allow the lebanese economy to have an annual grow, during the 90s, of more than 350%.
Economy in Lebanon had an enormous growth after the launch, in 1993, of “Horizon 2000”, a government reconstruction program worth $ 20 billion. This program helped country’s growth: 8% in 1994 and 7% in 1995. 1996 has been a bad year for lebanese economy due to Israel’s Operation Grapes of Wrath, launched during the month of April same year, which stunted economy growth. During the following years economy grew only 3% in 1997 and in 1998, 1% in 1999.
Many firms also invested during those years in Lebanon. Solidere (lebanese joint-stock company) managed the reconstruction the city of Beirut’s central business district. After this work, finally in January 1996, the lebanese stock market reopened. It was the beginning of return for banks and insurance companies.
One of the mail tasks the government wanted to reach during those years has been reduction of the budget deficit and reduction of the gap between rich and poor people, who grew by the end of civil war.
After that bloody period, Lebanon enjoyed internal stability, which brings to the economy a constant growth thanks also to the increasing number of tourists who, each year, visited Beirut and other cities of the country. This period lasts until July 2006, during which economy and tourism and been seriously affected by the 2006 Lebanon War, also known as 2006 Israel – Hezbollah War. After the war the country has been able, once more, to rebuilt buildings destroyed by bombs and its economy, which is still growing at some of the highest rates in the world: over 8% yearly.