IRELAND has been named the ‘best country for business’ by Forbes magazine, showcasing itself globally as an attractive haven for investment.
The iconic US financial publication ranked Ireland number one out of 145 countries, for the first time since the list began being compiled in 2006.
The rankings are determined by the following factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.
Ireland has moved up from it's sixth place ranking last year after achieving improved scores on monetary freedom, which measures price stability and price controls.
The 44pc return for the Irish Stock Exchange Overall Index in the 12 months to November 20 also elevated Ireland in the ranking.
In the Forbes article announcing 'Best Countries for Business' list, Ireland was described as being 'devastated by the Great Recession' and was identified as receiving an €85 billion bailout package to support the country's budgetary needs and prop up the banking system.
“Despite these economic troubles, Ireland still maintains an extremely pro-business environment that has attracted investments by some of the world’s biggest companies over the past decade,” said the magazine.
“Ireland scored well across the board when measuring its business friendliness. It is the only nation that ranks among the top 15 per cent of countries in every one of the 11 metrics we examined to gauge the best countries.’
New Zealand fell to number two, although it remains a fast growing economy with its GDP up 2.5pc last year.
Hong Kong ranks third for the second straight year, however, economic growth has slowed.
Two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden, round up the top five.
The data came from published reports from Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, World Bank and the World Economic Forum.