Ireland has been ranked as the most globalized nation in the West and the world’s third most globalized economy in terms of GDP according to the annual globalization index published by accounting giant Ernst and Young.
A collaboration between Ernst and Young and the Economic Intelligence Unit, the index examines 60 countries – specifically, their integration into the global economy. Variables considered include “a country’s openness to trade, movement of capital, exchange of technology and ideas, labor movements, and cultural integration.”
This may come as no surprise given the great number of Internet and corporate giants, including Google and Apple, that have established their European headquarters in Ireland in recent years, but Ernst and Young has consistently ranked Ireland among the top three most globalized nations every year since 1995. In fact, 2012 saw Ireland fall one place behind its 2011 ranking.
Hong Kong (which held first place for the third consecutive year) and Singapore placed ahead of Ireland, which surpassed close contenders Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. The United States ranked twenty-fifth.
Ireland’s high ranking was attributed to the country’s high performance in the areas of movement of capital and finance, and cultural integration, and to its disproportionately high level of foreign direct investment. Ernst and Young forecasted that Ireland will maintain its overall ranking until at least 2015, due to continued projected growth in trade and capital – good news as Ireland continues to rebuild its economy.