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Ireland tops Forbes list

12/12/13

The Irish economic recovery has been given further credence by the news that the influential US business publication Forbes has named it the best country in the world for doing business.

Ireland has attracted a host of multinational firms over the last few decades, partly thanks to its favourable tax regime, with firms such as Google, Twitter and Amazon all basing their European headquarters in Dublin.

Alongside this investment, the capital has long been a hub for financial services, which have began to grow in confidence following a difficult period.

This is highlighted by the Forbes report, which saw Ireland move up from last year's placing in sixth to occupy the top spot. The rankings are determined by grading 145 nations on 11 different factors, including innovation, taxes, technology, corruption and red tape.

It finished up ahead of the likes of New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and Sweden.

The small country "maintains an extremely pro-business environment that has attracted investments by some of the world's biggest companies over the past decade", declared Forbes.

Moody's Analytics' economist Melanie Bowler, who specialises on Ireland, told the news provider Ireland has continued to look like an attractive proposition, despite the economic turmoil it has faced recently.

Its educated workforce and pro-business taxation regime are major factors, as is its proximity to Europe and common language with the US, she declared.

"Dublin has already established itself as a location for multinationals, so it has the necessary infrastructure for other companies to easily move into the country and set up shop," concluded Ms Bowler.

According to Forbes, more than 1,000 overseas companies now have a presence in Ireland, employing 150,000 of the nation's 1.9 million workers.

This follows a report from KPMG suggesting that the UK's tax system remains relatively attractive to foreign investors, despite the ongoing debate in the country over how it should be changed.

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