Ireland is taking "resolute action" to try and recover from the worst recession in the West.

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen told the Global Irish Economic Forum in Ireland that his government has already made "significant corrections."

“We’ll take further difficult decisions required and we also have to deliver economic recovery by doing so,” he said.

Cowen told the forum that Ireland plans to spend €54bn buying real-estate loans to try and clear out the so-called toxic assets.

About 180 people of Irish descent are gathered at Farmleigh in Dublin to brainstorm ways to help Ireland recover from the economic crisis.

Ireland's Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said Ireland needed to learn from Israel.

He said  the peace process had been the "anchor" of the Irish-American relationship but that new anchors needed to be found to maintain the relationship.

"We are conscious that the Israelis have been particularly effective," he said.

There are nearly 70 million worldwide who claim Irish descent and the forum was seen as a 911 call to the key figures overseas.

Business leaders from as far away as Australia gathered in the Irish capital at their own expense to try and help Ireland think its way out of the financial mess.

"Any business or government strategy is only as good as how its implemented, so I think that will be the challenge," said Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Australian airline Qantas said.

Australia is represented by Joyce, Paul O'Sullivan, the head of Australian telecommunications giant Optus and James Hogan who heads up Etihad Airlines.