During the Lebanese Civil War, which lasted nearly from 1975 to 1990, most of the rest of the Middle East experienced an economic boom. Thus, businesses moved from Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, to other economic centers in the Middle East. However, Lebanon's economy didn’t completely collapse during this bad period, which is largely because foreign aid to competing militias, which fueled the economy during this war.
Since 1991, the Lebanese economy has recovered. Annual inflation, around 500% in 1987, was manageable in the mid-1990s and low in the early 21st century. Gross domestic product (GDP) nearly totaled 21.8 billion US Dollars in 2004, increasing to nearly 52 billion USD in 2017.
Furthermore, “Horizon 2000”, a multi-billion-dollar reconstruction program to rebuild the central district of Beirut, was at the center of the government's energies. But, in general, the government lacks funds and has increasingly privatized public services, including some formal monopolies, such as the postal service and the lucrative mobile phone service.
Lebanon offers one of the most liberal investment climates in the Middle East. The government offers incentives to attract foreign and domestic investment, including low-income tax rates for individuals and businesses.