Ireland is the fastest climber in Europe in a prestigious ranking of competitiveness, and the gap between this country and the UK has widened dramatically.
Singapore is the world's most competitive economy according to a yearly ranking of 63 economies by Swiss research group the IMD World Competitiveness Centre.
Hong Kong and the US fill out the global top three.
Switzerland topped the European ranking, followed by the Netherlands and Ireland - which ranked 7th overall. Ireland was up from 12th a year ago - the biggest improvement in Europe as business conditions improved and the economy strengthened.
At the same time uncertainty over Brexit saw the UK slip to 23rd place globally.
IDA CEO Martin Shanahan welcomed the Irish placing: "International comparisons like this are important in the world of foreign investment - rankings matter."