DUBLIN, Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Irish eyes were smiling this week as Ireland secured the number one spot in Forbes' eighth annual Best Countries for Business list for the first time. Ireland's pro-business environment and soaring stock market bumped up its ranking from last year's sixth place.
Forbes grades 145 nations in the following categories: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. Data for each category ranking was pulled from various published reports by organizations such as Freedom House and the Heritage Foundation.
Ireland is the only nation that ranks in the top 15 percent of countries for each of the 11 categories. Despite the fiscal tumult following the recession, Ireland maintains its business-friendly atmosphere with the highest stock return among the top 30 countries and high rankings for metrics such as low tax burden, investor protection and personal freedom.
Since entering the E.U. bailout in 2010, the Irish government has worked to revive the country's economy, securing investments from over 70 businesses.
"We are delighted to receive this prestigious distinction from Forbes," said Barry O'Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, the Irish Government's foreign direct investment agency. "This ranking reinforces our belief: Ireland will continue to grow and remain a hospitable environment for businesses, both large and small."
Dublin serves as the European headquarters for large U.S.–based companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook. With a strong track record for foreign direct investment and an expansive talent pool, Ireland continues to provide a home away from home for burgeoning companies looking to expand into new markets.
About IDA Ireland
IDA Ireland (Industrial Development Agency) is the foreign direct investment agency for the Republic of Ireland. The agency collaborates with companies looking to expand internationally by facilitating the establishment and growth of business operations in Ireland. Today, Ireland is home to companies such as Facebook, Intel, Yahoo, Adobe, Google, Apple, LinkedIn, Twitter and Amazon.com, to name just a few. For more information, please visit www.idaireland.com or follow IDA Ireland on Twitter @IDAIRELAND.
SOURCE IDA Ireland