The Taoiseach has told business leaders and Irish community representatives in Seattle, that companies like Amazon and Microsoft which originated in the city, are companies that make an important economic contribution to Ireland.

He said that their presence contributes to Ireland's status as one of the technology capitals of the world.

Leo Varadkar told a large lunch gathering at Seattle's Chihuly Garden and Glass centre, that the companies have recognised the many qualities which make Ireland a desirable location for investment.

He said the highest rate of growth in the Eurozone of 4.3% GDP is expected this year and that the budget deficit has been eliminated.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland has a sense of optimism about the future, which is founded on the way it has met with the challenges of the past.

"We are now a land of peace and prosperity, a place of opportunity where we reward aspiration and encourage innovation. We have an unshakeable belief in what we can achieve", he said. 

He also took the opportunity to highlight Ireland's "stable and competitive corporation tax regime" and strong incentives for research and development.

While he acknowledged that Brexit is one of the major challenges of this generation, he assured today's gathering that Ireland is meeting that challenge, and the Government is confident in its approach.

"We are resolute in our determination that there can be no new barriers to trade or the movement of people across our island", he said.

On trade and investment, he said its significance is nowhere more evident than in Ireland's bilateral economic relationship with the United States.

However, he said it was important to remember that trade between Ireland and the United States is "a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship".

He said Ireland is an island "at the centre of the world and at the heart of the common European home it helped to build, confident about its place in the world at a time when so many other countries are not".