The meeting was attended by representatives from "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 Enterprises, Dana Gas, U.S.A. Regional Trade Center, the American University of Sharjah (AUS), and Sharjah Businesswomen Council. Organised by "Shurooq" under the slogan 'Sharjah - Promising Opportunities, Global Horizons the Sharjah Roadshow in the USA' is in line with its approach to open up new investment channels and highlight the huge infrastructure and attractions offered by Sharjah's various investment sectors. The move aims to promote the government's directive to offer all necessary facilities and incentives, provide strong yet flexible legislative framework to meet investment requirements, and develop a solid, safe and investor friendly environment in the emirate of Sharjah. Speaking on the occasion, HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said: "We have excellent relations with the USA and already cooperate in a number of areas. US firms and authorities have maintained an active presence in Sharjah over a long period of time. During this road show, we will introduce Sharjah even more widely and promote its latest investment opportunities. We will seek to renew communication channels with the influential investment players and expand cooperation in various fields to ensure larger and more fruitful cooperation in the short and long term." He added: "When we speak about conducting Sharjah's largest road show to the USA, this super economic power and leading country of business and entrepreneurship, we are well aware of what are we going to do. We have infrastructure that enables us to expand our horizons - Sharjah enjoys a thriving economic growth and is highly ranked in terms of economic competitiveness. The Emirate is ready to offer opportunities to investors and has a diverse and resilient economic climate that is able to regenerate its sectors and to withstand the usual economic fluctuations." Al Sarkal clarified: "Sharjah's economy saw vibrant activity from 2005 to 2012, increasing from AED40.227 billion to AED88.689. It is expected to exceed the AED100 billion mark by end of 2013, and reach AED113 billion by end of 2014. This dynamic economic performance is supporting more than 45000 small and medium enterprises. Therefore, we are well-positioned, and confident of our competitiveness and ability to attract investors." During the meeting, participants were briefed about the institutions and corporations the delegation will meet in the USA. The list included high profile and renowned organisations in business, finance, banking, trading and investment sectors, as "Shurooq" is keen to promote the untapped opportunities available in each economic sector in the Emirate. The list includes the US Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arab American Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S UAE Business Council, with all three of these organisations having corporate and individual members. Other entities include the US Export Assistance Center (USEAC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Import and Export Bank, Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), as well as a group of companies and businessmen in the USA. Recent studies conducted by Shurooq showed that Sharjah is a significant contributor to the UAE's trade activities due to its geographical position, state of the art infrastructure, Sharjah International Airport and major airline companies, free zones, and Sharjah Healthcare City, in addition to being a regional trade hub that has seen a remarkable growth in re-export - from AED8.2 billion in 2006 to AED35.3 billion in 2011. Trade exchange revenues grew from AED24.5 in 2006 to AED98 billion in 2011, through steady transactions with leading countries such as India, Japan, China, Iran, USA, Germany, France, Malaysia, UK and South Korea. Studies conducted by Shurooq have also shown that the economic sector in Sharjah has important components, including the industrial areas, the free zones and the workforce sector. The emirate has 18 industrial areas that extend over an area of 15 square kilometres and serve as the heart of the manufacturing industries in the UAE, accounting for 33% of the country's total industrial revenues. The industrial sector has 1444 registered firms, making 19% of the annual GDP. Licensed firms enjoy 100% ownership and transfer of funds without taxes or restrictions, exemption from import and export fees, exemption from customs, commercial fees and income tax, and unrestricted labour recruitment at economic costs. The delegation will highlight the regular events that are held in Sharjah that attract visitors from all over the world, including the Sharjah Lights Festival, the Sharjah International Automobile Show, the Sharjah Biennial, the International Education Show, the Sharjah International Book Fair - one of the world's top four book fairs - the Sharjah Water Festival, the UIM Formula One Powerboat World Championship, Sharjah Heritage Days, and Steel Fab Sharjah - the regional trade show for metal working, metal manufacturing and steel fabrication industry. 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.