India and Lebanon enjoy cordial and friendly relations based on many similarities such as political system based on parliamentary democracy, non-alignment, human rights, commitment to a just world order, regional and global peace, liberal market economy and a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. In the light of these similarities, there is good potential for strengthening ongoing bilateral ties. India established diplomatic relations with Lebanon in 1954 and maintained its diplomatic representation in Beirut throughout the civil war except for a brief closure of about two months from August 5 to October 16, 1989 following the escalation of fighting in Beirut, as contrary to a large number of other foreign Embassies in Beirut which closed down during the period of the civil war (1975-1990). During this period, there was limited bilateral interaction between the two countries. Indo-Lebanese trade, which had come to a virtual halt during the civil war, has increased in recent years. The total trade between Lebanon and India was to the tune of US$ 13.60 million in 1993. During the seven-year period from 1993 to 1999, trade grew at a slow pace and could only reach US$ 55 million in 1999. However, after 2000 there has been a marked difference, especially with increased awareness and recognition in Lebanon of India’s economic, technological, political and strategic influence, its large manufacturing base, its strength in services, and its ability to remain relatively unscathed in the face of regional and international financial crises. The two-way bilateral trade till end-Dec 2012 is USD 370 million with the balance of trade predominantly in favour of country.
The Indian community in Lebanon consists of semi skilled workers and highly qualified engineers estimated at around 12,000, employed in civil construction, Industries[clarification needed], factories and farms. The majority of them are from Punjab and Tamil Nadu, a few hundred are from Haryana and Kerala. As per the Embassy’s records, there are only 25 people holding 'Person of Indian Origin' status in Lebanon. There are half a dozen executive level Indians in Lebanon who have come in mainly through the Gulf