The revenues generated by Ireland's multinational companies are helping to support pandemic aid for workers and businesses suffering the worst of the lockdown.
That's according to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar.
Mr Varadkar will spend the next three days on a "virtual trade mission" to meet leading figures in business and politics from India, Australia, Britain, France, Germany and the United States.
In an interview with Newstalk, he said that while exporters can't replace all the jobs lost in hospitality and tourism, trade has been the backbone of the economy through the worst of the crisis.
He added that those sectors will recover once the crisis is over, albeit not as quickly as other industries such as construction or retail.
Mr Varadkar said the pandemic has shown how important international trade is, whether that's importing PPE or exporting medical devices.
"We're totally dependent on international trade to fight the pandemic and when the pandemic is over, we're going to need to trade our way out of the recession it has caused," he said.
"That means making sure our goods and services are sold around the world and that companies who want to invest in Europe choose Ireland as their base."
Taoiseach and Tánaiste to lead IDA Ireland international engagements on St. Patrick’s week: https://t.co/hMkn7Nz1fa#WhyIreland #StPatricksDay2021
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The Minister added that the strength of Ireland's trading sector helped to buoy the economy last year.
"The reason why we're one of the few countries in the world that posted economic growth last year was because of the strength of our trading sector," he said.
"That's the agri-food sector, producing food and drink and exporting it abroad, it's the multinationals, it's digital, it's tech, it's pharma, it's medical devices.
"Were it not for the jobs they create and the revenue they generate, it would have been much harder for us to pay for things like the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the Wage Subsidy Scheme, and things that are helping people to survive at the moment.
"We'll need those revenues from trade to help reboot those sectors as well."