The Minister for Finance has said the economy is performing far stronger at the start of November than he could have hoped as recently as March or April and he is very confident for the future.

Paschal Donohoe said both the domestic and international trading dimensions of the Irish economy had been incredibly resilient.

Addressing the Ireland Inc organised US Ireland Economic Roundtable, the minister said that the last 12 months had brought challenges that he never thought he would have to deal with.

But in dealing with them it had deepened the optimism for what is ahead for Ireland and the relationship with the US, he claimed.

The way Irish people look after each other and the sense of duty we have to do that in Ireland is a reminder of the versatility and strength Irish people have to deal with what is to come, Mr Donohoe stated.

He said how Irish people have responded to what has been thrown at the country gives him real hope for the future.

He added that we can never take it for granted but he said on those two grounds he has great reason for faith regarding what we have yet to do. 

Mr Donohoe said he hopes and believes that the role and relationship that Ireland has with the US will continue to be developed in the years to come.

At the moment the main concern he said he has is the great practical challenge of travel between the US and Ireland.

He said he really hopes as we continue the battle with Covid-19 and are successful at getting it to a safer place than it is today, that a way can be found for the practical linkages that existed between Ireland and the US of daily transatlantic travel to be redeveloped all over again.

This is the life blood of the modern relationship that Ireland and the US have, he claimed.

In terms of the EU/US relationship, Mr Donohoe said that so much of that will depend on the strengthening of efforts to get our trading relationship to a healthier place and how we can look at creating new agreements.

He said he believes the most important global relationship in the world is that between the US and Europe and that it is based on values, history and a common outlook.

The Finance Minister said that we have to work really hard in 2021 to look at how it can be used as a foundation for a better trading relationship.  

He said we all know how the world  is changing and it is because of this that the relationship between Europe and America is so important.

Mr Donohoe told the forum that he hopes and believes there will be opportunities to strengthen that relationship further next year and use it as a window to resolve some trading difficulties that are there. 

He added that US investment in Ireland has been an absolutely essential element of the economic success that this country has had in recent decades. 

Ireland has acted as a bridge for American companies selling into Europe and across the world, he claimed.

He said that there were approximately 160,000 jobs here in Ireland either directly created or indirectly created by American companies.