A recent report by UNCTAD indicates that Iran is at 77th place in B2C E-commerce Index of 2016. The report also shows that Iran is one of the top 10 countries in Asia Pacific in this index.

UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. This organization has recently released a report showing the B2C E-Commerce Index of 137 countries, which represent 96% of the world population and 99% of world GDP. The UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2016 is composed of four indicators namely, Internet use penetration, secure servers per 1 million inhabitants, credit card penetration and a postal reliability score.

Among the top 10 countries, 6 are European, 3 are from the Asia-Pacific and one is from North America. Luxembourg, Iceland, Norway, Canada and Japan are the top 5 countries in this index. Comparing to the 2014 report, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates saw the most significant improvement (up 47 and 41 positions respectively) mostly because of the developments in postal efficiency. Uruguay and the Russian Federation have also seen improvement in their share of individuals with credit cards in the 2016 report.

Top 10 economies in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2016
Top 10 economies in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2016. Source: UNCTAD

Among developing economies, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore rank the highest as a result of their high Internet penetration and advanced logistics network. These countries are followed by four Arab states of the Persian Gulf which are stated in the table below. At the 77th place, Iran’s share of individuals using Internet, individuals with credit card, secure Internet servers per 1 million people and UPU postal reliability is 39, 11, 38 and 82 respectively. The lowest indicator in this index is for the share of individuals with credits cards, which is still a challenge in Iran.

 

Top 10 developing economies in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, 2016
Top 10 developing economies in the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, 2016. Source: UNCTAD
Top 10 economies in UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2016, by region
Top 10 economies in UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2016, by region. Source: UNCTAD

Iran with 80 million population, has 92% debit card penetration, 120% mobile penetration and 13.5 million households which have access to the Internet. The recent improvements in Iran’s ICT sector have persuaded many investors to bet on this market.

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