Forbes magazine, one of the largest and most influential international business publications, has ranked Ireland the 'best country for business' in the world.
The accolade must surely be considered a huge boost to Ireland's international business reputation, especially given Forbes' global stature as a reliable touchstone for the business community.
The rankings were compiled using a range of criteria, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. These were then applied to some 145 countries.
The article claimed that is spite of the recession, “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.”
Among the stated big draws for international companies were Ireland's highly educated workforce, and the country's low corporate tax rate.
Other factors that influenced international businesses' attitudes towards Ireland included lower labour costs and the large pool of available talent given its current rates of unemployment.
Ireland displaces New Zealand from top position into second spot, while Hong Kong placed third on the list.