Lebanese Bankers Fear Qatar-Style Blockade by Saudis

Lebanese Economy Already In Trouble, Bankers Warn

Saudi Arabia’s newfound hostility toward Lebanon has a number of the nation’s politicians and bankers expressing concern about the possibility that the Saudis and their allies intend to impose a Qatar-style blockade on them soon.

Such a blockade would have limited impact on basic goods, as unlike Qatar Lebanon’s trade with the Gulf states is fairly limited and doesn’t include everyday necessities like food and water. That doesn’t mean such a blockade would be consequence-free, however.

Qatar, after all, is among the richest countries on the planet per capita, and was easily able to afford wholesale changes in trade, making the blockade more of an inconvenience than a calamity. Lebanon, by contrast, hasn’t got the strongest economy to begin with.

And some 400,000 Lebanese work in the Gulf region, sending money back to family in Lebanon on a large scale. If this estimated $7-$8 billion a year dries up, it could have major consequences for the Lebanese economy, as it represents nearly 20% of the Lebanese GDP.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.