Following the conference, during which the delegation established various high profile connections, the team prepared for a series of meetings aimed at promoting Sharjah's investment and business potential. The meetings were organised in collaboration with UAE's Ministry of Foreign Trade office in Geneva and attended by members of the Shurooq delegation, headed by H.E Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) CEO, and including Elie Armaly, Director of Business Development at Shurooq and Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, Head of Investment Promotion at Shurooq, accompanied by Bader Al Musharrakh, Director of the Office of The UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade to the WTO to Geneva. During the meetings, scheduled with various government officials and representatives from the business, energy, healthcare and investment sectors on 13 and 14 February, the delegation introduced the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), its vision and objectives, as well as the dynamic business environment - which exists due to the market oriented economy, government incentives, and the availability of ideal requirements for growth and substantial return on investment in Sharjah - available to investors in the emirate. Shurooq also provided detailed and exclusive information on four key sectors –healthcare, travel and leisure, logistics and transportation, and the environment - and highlighted the emirate's significant business and investment potential in these vital areas. Sharjah's ultra-modern infrastructure and transport network, tax policies, skilled workforce and political stability was also emphasised. Speaking of the outcome of the trip, H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal said: "Our visit to Switzerland, which forms part of Shurooq's broader strategy to promote Sharjah throughout Europe this year, has been a great success. We were able to secure a number of key meetings with government officials, senior executives from the private sector and representatives from various agencies around Switzerland and Europe, during which we presented Sharjah's unique business, investment and tourism opportunities, all of which were received with a great deal of interest." The delegation started its comprehensive meeting schedule on 13 February by consulting with Energy8 founder Olivier Andres, whose firm specialises in renewable energy projects and energy optimisation. This was followed by a meeting with Osec, the centre of expertise for Swiss foreign trade, and the Generale-Beaulieu Clinic, a private multi-disciplinary healthcare facility. Shurooq also met with other international organisations, and with the Greater Geneva Berne area (GGBa) Economic Development Agency, after which the delegation was invited to dinner by the State Bureau of Economic Promotion in the State of Geneva. The following day saw the delegation meet with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the Arab-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CASCI), respectively. The latter is a non-profit organisation established in 1974 to promote the economic and cultural relations between Switzerland and the Arab Countries, members of the League of Arab States. During each of the meetings Shurooq presented the current state of Sharjah's key sectors and highlighted the existing investment and business opportunities for those seeking to invest in the UAE. It also discussed the possibility of providing strategic partnerships with government sectors or private firms operating in the emirate, and the facilities that could be provided by the Authority and other government departments. Al Sarkal added: "We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the visit, and with the overall potential of the individual meetings we attended. We discussed means of developing mutual cooperation and ways of boosting Swiss corporate investment in Sharjah in order to benefit from the vast number of opportunities across various key sectors in the emirate with a number of parties, and we look forward to fostering collaboration with these parties in the near future." Switzerland and the UAE share friendly ties that go back several decades. Diplomatic ties were strengthened with the opening of a UAE embassy in Berne in 2011 and the signing of a visa exemption agreement covering diplomatic and special passports as well as a double taxation agreement. At the same time bilateral cooperation has been developed beyond the economic sphere to include political, security, cultural, sports, academic and research matters. Today, Switzerland counts the UAE as its most important trading partner in the region. Tourism between the nations is also flourishing, with the number of visas issued for UAE residents to visit Switzerland totalling 14,000 in 2012. 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. The Authority's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the emirate, evaluate tourism-related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.