Around 70,000 Irish emigrants will have returned home by 2020, said Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce Thanksgiving lunch in Dublin on Thursday.

The Taoiseach said that next year, Ireland will welcome home more people than will leave the country since the start of the economic crisis, The Irish Times reports.

“What they carry home with them, their experience and knowledge and confidence, will be a huge boost to Irish business and the Irish economy,” said Kenny.

Kenny said that 135,000 jobs had been created since the Irish government published its Action Plan for Jobs in 2012, but the goal was to add 266,000 more jobs by 2020.

Kevin O’Malley, the US ambassador to Ireland, said he was impressed by the strong links between business and Irish educational institutions.

“We are no doubt at a very important nexus in the Irish-US commercial relationship,” he said.

President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland Eamonn Sinnott said US firms were responsible for supporting nearly a quarter of a million jobs to Ireland and contributing €16 billion a year to the economy.