Michael Noonan named Europe's best finance minister by The Banker magazine

Wednesday 08 January 2014 23.42
Michael Noonan had made many improvements to the economy he inherited in 2011, the magazine said
Michael Noonan had made many improvements to the economy he inherited in 2011, the magazine said

Michael Noonan has been named Europe's Finance Minister of the Year by financial publication The Banker for the "extraordinary progress" made in improving Ireland's economy.

The magazine, which is owned by The Financial Times, said Mr Noonan had overseen a number of important achievements in 2013, including the Anglo promissory note deal and Ireland's exit from its bailout.

"No one is under any illusion about the challenges still facing Ireland," said the magazine's editorial piece explaining its decision.

"Nonetheless, having inherited an economy in recession and a government reliant on an IMF and EU bailout in 2011, Michael Noonan has made extraordinary progress."

It said the country's re-entry into the bond market was "key" to its transition, while improving unemployment figures and an expectation of growth in 2014 pointed to an improvement in Ireland's economic situation.

Mexico's Luis Videgaray was named as overall Finance Minister of the Year, as well as winner for the Americas region, for the structural reforms he had undertaken in the country's economy.

Cesar Purisima, finance minister of the Philippines, was named for the Asia-Pacific region for his work in raising the country's profile among international investors.

The finance minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sultan bin Saeed Nasser Al Mansouri, was awarded as best in the Middle East for his work in lifting his country from its financial crisis.

Meanwhile, Liberia's Amara Konneh was named for the African region for his work in boosting the country's economy following years of conflict.