Libya flag Libya: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Libya


Internet access
Internet penetration has traditionally been very low in Libya. According to the latest available data, the country had 1.3 million internet users in 2016, making the penetration rate 20.3%. Nonetheless, there has been a significant increase in the number of internet users, particularly among youth. Internet freedom has improved in Libya in 2017, due to a reduction in arrests, but politically driven network shutdowns continue, making the internet in the country 'Partly Free'. The ongoing conflict in Libya has badly affected internet access throughout the country, as electricity outages and physical damage to infrastructure limit connectivity. However, overall quality of service and connection speed have improved recently. There are almost 11 million mobile subscriptions in Libya, which represents a penetration rate of 169%. This rise of quality 3G coverage, the introduction of 4G LTE, and lower prices have driven the recent growth in mobile penetration. Most people access the internet from their mobile phone, which accounts for 63% of web traffic. Home and work computers are the next most used devices. However, the cost of home internet connection is still high, making it out of reach for a large proportion of Libyans, particularly those living outside of major urban areas. Limited computer literacy, particularly among women, is still an obstacle to universal access in Libya.
E-commerce market
Libya has been in a state of turmoil since the overthrow of Mouammar Kadhafi in 2011. Consequently, the economic sectors in the country have been suffering for the past seven years, with most foreign investments leaving Libya. The crisis had a severe socioeconomic impact, affecting everyday life in multiple ways. Not only do Libyans have less cash to spend, but they also have less purchasing power given that the cost of living has increased substantially. As a result, e-commerce does not play a significant role in Libya. Informal business dealings have increased, boosting the black market, which is able to deliver certain goods and services otherwise unavailable. However, there are some e-commerce companies in the country, like Libyan Spider and Wecard - which, in collaboration with Amazon UK, allows its customers to purchase items online in Libyan dinars and have them delivered to Libya.

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Latest Update: May 2024