US multinationals based in Ireland have responded incredibly well to the Covid-19 pandemic, but air connectivity is vital, according to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.

 96% of US companies said that travel restrictions are having an impact on their business here.

"We are an island economy and a very open island economy that depends on inward and outward investment so air connectivity is critically important," said Mark Redmond, CEO of AmCham.

"The importance of air connectivity infrastructure and the aviation sector is critically important to the economy and wider society," he added.

The outlook for Foreign Direct Investment is challenging, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt global trade. 

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland says it is essential to protect Ireland's reputation as a competitive and cost-efficient place to do business, invest and create jobs. 

Over 160,000 people are directly employed in over 700 US firms in Ireland.

The country has shown itself to be a resilient and trust worthy component of global supply chains, and Mr Redmond credits the employees working in multinationals who have kept production going, and in some cases have quadrupled production of essential medical technologies and pharmaceuticals.

"Ireland has 0.06% of the world's population, but as the Tánaiste pointed out yesterday, Ireland is the fifth biggest producer of Covid related products from medicines to ventilators," Mr Redmond said.

Ireland's track record in terms of the public sector response to the pandemic and the social solidarity shown by the wider population, will stand to the country when it comes to multinational investment "when we do come out of this global economic recession," he said.

Google recently ditched plans to rent more office space in Dublin's Docklands, but the AmCham CEO does not believe this is a warning sign, or that other firms will follow suit.

Mr Redmond said the focus is on planning the safe return to work.

"Why that is so important is because it's in the work space that real collaboration and innovation happens; it's where onboarding of new team members happens. It's where they learn how to do the job," he said.

"There's only so much virtually online learning. The best way to learn how to do your job is to watch someone ahead of you do it," Mark Redmond said.

"Working from home can be very challenging, and I think employers are really working on creating a safe environment, appropriate to coming back to the office, and of course supporting local businesses around the office space," he added.