World Economic Forum cancels 2021 annual meeting in Singapore

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FILE PHOTO: A brand of the fiftieth World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting is pictured on a window in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

ZURICH/SINGAPORE — The World Economic Forum has cancelled its annual meeting – the blue-ribbon occasion for the worldwide elite to debate the world’s issues – on account of be held in Singapore this yr, the organizers stated on Monday.

The COVID-19 pandemic meant it was not potential to carry such a big occasion as deliberate on Aug. 17-20, they stated.

“Regretfully, the tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies, an uncertain travel outlook, differing speeds of vaccination roll out and the uncertainty around new variants combine to make it impossible to realize a global meeting with business, government and civil society leaders from all over the world at the scale which was planned,” the WEF stated in a press release.

The occasion, which attracts VIPs from the worlds of politics and enterprise, has been held since 1971.

It was shifted from the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos in December over considerations about safeguarding the well being of members.

Separately, the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian safety summit, which is to happen from June 4–5, plans to go forward with the occasion.

“IISS remains on track to convene the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in person in Singapore in early June,” the organizer, the International Institute for Strategic Studies stated in a press release.

“The World Economic Forum’s decision does not affect our plans. We have a full line-up of ministers and other senior leaders from around the world planning to attend our event,” stated IISS.

In a press release, Singapore’s protection ministry stated it was “encouraged by the positive response to invitations” to the meeting.

“Nevertheless, as the COVID-19 situation is fluid and continues to evolve in the run-up to the meeting, the Singapore government will continue to monitor the local and global COVID-19 situation and make the necessary adjustments.”

Singapore has in current days imposed a number of the tightest restrictions because it exited a lockdown final yr to fight a spike in native COVID-19 infections.

Acknowledging WEF’s determination to cancel the occasion, the Singapore commerce ministry stated on Monday that it “fully appreciates the challenges caused by the ongoing global pandemic, particularly for a large meeting with a broad span of international participants.”

The WEF’s subsequent annual meeting will as an alternative happen in the primary half of 2022. Its location and date shall be decided primarily based on an evaluation of the scenario later this summer time, it added in a press release.

Last yr practically 3,000 members from 130 nations got here to the WEF in Davos, which payments itself as a spot for international leaders to work collectively to form the worldwide, regional and industrial agenda. Speakers final yr included environmental activist Greta Thunberg and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab stated the choice to cancel had been tough, notably as many individuals needed to “come together not just virtually but in person, and to contribute to a more resilient, more inclusive and more sustainable world,”

“But ultimately the health and safety of everyone concerned is our highest priority,” he stated.



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