IRELAND has won a resounding vote of confidence from US financial bible Forbes, which named it the best country in the world for business.
The magazine placed Ireland first in its ranking of 145 nations for the first time since the annual list began being compiled in 2006.
Ireland moved up from its number six ranking last year on the strength of improved scores on monetary freedom, which gauges price stability and price controls.
The 44pc return for the Irish Stock Exchange Overall Index in the 12 months to November 20 also propelled us up the league table.
New Zealand drops 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, although economic growth has slowed there recently.
Two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden, complete the top five.
Forbes determined the ‘Best Countries for Business’ 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.