The ministry's delegation, led by Ali Al Shehhi, Director of Investment Department at the Ministry of Economy, was received by HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and Elie Armaly, Director of Business Development at Shurooq, in the presence of a number of officials from both sides. The two parties agreed on the importance of activating bilateral meetings aimed at enhancing cooperation in a number of projects and sectors of mutual concern, and the need to exchange the experience and expertise enjoyed by the qualified cadres at both the Ministry and the Authority. HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal welcomed the visiting delegation and outlined the phases of establishment of Shurooq and the achievements it has accomplished so far. He emphasised the need for fruitful positive cooperation between the authority and various government organisation and departments, particularly the Ministry of Economy as the first official body in charge of the growth and competitiveness of the UAE's economy. Commenting on the meeting, HE Marwan Al Sarkal, Shurooq CEO, said, "The Authority has strived, since its establishment, to implement its strategies for cooperation and bringing outlooks closer together to enhance means of investment between the various parties involved in the investment process, in order to create possible opportunities, boost the investment climate with attractive opportunities, and provide advice directly to investors. "We are delighted to meet with the ministry's delegation to discuss several topics related to investment in our quest to increase cooperation and develop future projects that support the aspirations and approach of the Emirate and the UAE on the grounds of our shared visions and eagerness to achieve common interests." Al Sarkal added. Ali Al Shehhi stressed the Ministry's eagerness to strengthen avenues of cooperation with various federal and local agencies that play a role in the comprehensive development process in the country. He added that investment is a vital mechanism of growth in today's global economy, thus prompting many countries to attract more foreign direct investments. Al Shehhi pointed out that the Investment Department at the Ministry of Economy is eagerly enthusiastic to play its part in contribution to the creation of a suitable climate for attracting more foreign investments, out of its belief in the vital role investments play in the overall development process in the UAE. He noted that the department aims to strengthen investor confidence in the UAE's investment environment, stimulate investment and highlight investment opportunities as well as to support economic activity. Al Shehhi pointed out that the department adopts long-term strategic plans to attract more foreign investments and direct them towards strategic and vital sectors in line with economic development-oriented policies in the country. 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 around 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.