Ireland has come out on top in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business list of 2013 beating the United States (#14) and the United Kingdom (#12).
Despite the collapse of the Celtic Tiger Ireland’s “pro-business environment” has attracted big investment seeing it rise to the number one slot, up from its number six slot in 2012.
The top five countries, according to the Forbes list are Ireland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and Sweden. The American business magazine compiled the list by “grading 145 nations on 11 different factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.”
According to the 2013 research, Ireland is the only nation to rank among the top 15 percent in all of the 11 metrics and ranked very close to the top for low tax burden, investor protection and personal freedom.
This data was gathered from published reports by the following organizations: Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, World Bank and World Economic Forum.
This is the first time that Ireland has topped this list. It also marked the United States four-year sliding down the list having ranked as number two in 2009.
Since 2012 Ireland has improved its rankings on the Heritage Foundation’s measure of monetary freedom, which guages price stability and assesses price controls. Ireland has also had a 44 percent return on the Irish Stock Exchange Overall Index, ranking first among the top 30 countries.
Melanie Bowler, a Moody’s Analytics’ economist told Forbes’ “Ireland has continued to attract direct foreign investment despite its problems.”
She added that Ireland’s educated workforce, 12.5 percent corporate tax rate and the fact they speak English are all plus factors.