Italy lags behind in online business: UN

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Italy lags behind when it comes to facilitating online purchases. Photo: UNCTAD
13:40 CET+01:00
A UN study looking at how easy different countries make it for businesses to facilitate online purchases shows that Italy lags behind most other European nations.

The report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) looked at the opportunities and challenges of e-commerce around the world.

Italy came 32nd in a global table of 130 countries, behind the Czech Republic, Latvia and Slovakia but ahead of Hungary and Bahrain.

Luxembourg was singled out as a world leader in facilitating online purchases, followed by Norway, Finland, Canada and Sweden.

The agency estimates that the global volume of business to consumer (B2C) transactions is worth around $1.2 trillion a year.

Between now and 2018, the domain will be worth an estimated $2.4 trillion a year, UNCTAD said.

It measured the ability of the countries ranked to conduct such transactions, taking into account factors such as use of the internet, data-secure servers, the rate of penetration of credit cards and home postal delivery.

The report said that less than one in three people in Italy bought products online in 2013, but they are getting more sociable, with over 60 percent using social networks in the same year.

“The index allows countries to compare their readiness with others and also indicates their relative strengths and weaknesses in different elements of the e-commerce process, such as the quality of the internet infrastructure and the availability of payment and delivery solutions,” the UNCTAD said in statement.

The ranking is included in the international organization’s Information Economy Report 2015.

Most of the top e-commerce companies are from the United States and China, the report said.

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In terms of gross merchandise value, the top e-commerce sites were the Alibaba Group (China), Amazon (US) and eBay (US).

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