Largest ever delegation from public and private sectors to strengthen business, tourism and cultural cooperation
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), organiser of the road show, hosted a briefing and discussion on the agenda of the visit. The meeting was attended by representatives of participants including Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC), Sharjah Media Centre (SMC), the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA), the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), Sharjah Health Authority (SHA), Sharjah Department of Public Works (DPW), Sharjah Tatweer Forum, Crescent Petroleum, Crescent Investment Group, Dana Gas, Al Hanoo Holding Group and U.S.A. Regional Trade Center. The meeting was attended by HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), HE Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, Director General of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HE Dr Khalid Al Midfaa, Director of Sharjah Media Corporation, HE Osama Samra, Director General of Sharjah Media Centre, HE Khalid Al Huraimel, CEO of Sharjah Environment (Bee'ah), HE Manal Attaya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, Mr. Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and a number of representatives of participating parties. Speaking on the occasion, HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority "Shurooq", said: "The tour is part of the Emirate's current strategy of strengthening cooperation with various international parties and promoting Sharjah as the business, tourism, and cultural destination of choice in the region. Shurooq is seeking to highlight Sharjah's tourism attractions and introduce the investment opportunities in the Emirate to the US community, in addition to the Emirate's strategic location as the only GCC hub with direct access to the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, offering gateway to 2 billion people in 160 countries." He added: "The delegation will deliver detailed presentation about the state of the art infrastructure in the emirate of Sharjah and the advanced transportation networks which allow for easy access to local and international markets, particularly as Sharjah has one of the highest levels of diversification in the region being the only economy in the Middle East with no single sector contribution to more than 1/5th of the GDP, which means huge opportunities for all sectors and investments in the Emirate". Al Sarkal hoped that the first of its kind road show to the USA will be beneficial and will help open new avenues of cooperation in various areas, particularly with the huge participation of public and private sector in the delegation. He added that the visit is timely as many US firms are willing to expand to the Middle East and Asia. The agenda of the road show in Washington and New York was reviewed during the briefing, with highlights on the forums that Shurooq has organised in collaboration with business and investment parties in the USA and the meetings the authority has arranged in advance so that all participants in the delegation can prepare for their particular bilateral and group meetings with their US counterparts. Attendees in the meeting agreed that the goal of the road show is to highlight the attractions in the emirate of Sharjah, to introduce the Emirate to the business, culture, art and tourism communities in the USA and to promote the investor friendly climate and unparalleled host of incentives, privileges and facilities in the Emirate, as well as its economic diversification and the openness to international markets. The UAE enjoys excellent relations with the USA in various political, economic and social aspects. The bilateral ties are expanding with growing economic, cultural and artistic exchange. The USA Regional Trade Centre was opened in Sharjah in 2012 as part of the efforts to boost bilateral cooperation between Sharjah and the USA. The USARTC will help enhance Sharjah's position as a regional hub for US investment in the Middle East, attract US companies to the region's markets and further boost the leading position of Sharjah as a destination of choice for business and investment. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah's distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world. Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the Emirate, evaluate tourism and investment related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.