Lebanon capitalizes on the initiative of its people and its geographical location to make up for the lack of natural resources. Its trading facilities, banking and financial services as well as its free economy made Lebanon the region’s commercial center before 1975. With peace established and reconstruction underway Lebanon is again assuming its former position as a business center. To help strengthen the economy, authorities have initiated a new low income tax schedule to provide investment incentive, increase disposable income and expand the tax base.
Banking is a major industry in Lebanon with strict banking secrecy as one of its important features. More than eighty banks operate in the country with transactions performed efficiently and at low cost.
Movement of currency into and out of the country and all exchange transactions are completely free of any kind of control. Foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank or at one of the numerous money exchange shops. Note that $US are accepted everywhere.
The monetary unit is the Lebanese Lira (LL) and currency is issued in LL500, LL1,000, LL5,000, and LL10,000, LL20,000, LL50,000 and LL100,000 notes. Coins are minted in LL 500, LL 250, LL 100 and LL 50 units.
Credit Cards and Travelers Checks
Visitors will find many credit cards are accepted in larger establishments. Master Card, American Express, Diners Club International and Visa International are among those in common use. In addition, local credit cards such as Investment Credit Card, Cashless Card and Link Card are accepted. It is best not to count on cashing travelers checks since they require at least two weeks to clear.