Singapore — The next World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Annual Meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Singapore, has been pushed back by two weeks to from May 25 to 28 this year.
The global summit, which brings together top leaders in politics, business and academia, was initially supposed to take place from May 13 to 16.
The WEF announced the postponement on its website but did not respond to press queries on when and why the meeting was postponed.
The 2021 WEF summit is set to mark the second time in history that the annual meeting is being moved from the Davos ski resort in Switzerland.
The 2002 forum was held in New York as a show of support for the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The 2021 forum will also mark the first time the meeting will take place in Asia.
In early December 2020, the WEF said that the change was made to safeguard health and safety: “In light of the current situation with regards to Covid-19 cases, it was decided that Singapore was best placed to hold the meeting.”
WEF founder Klaus Schwab added that the meeting would be crucial to address global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken a huge health and economic toll worldwide. He said: “Public-private co-operation is needed more than ever to rebuild trust and address the fault lines that emerged in 2020.”
The Singapore Government said at the time that WEF’s decision to hold its Special Annual Meeting in Singapore “reflects its confidence in our management of the Covid-19 pandemic thus far”. It added that the forum will have a positive impact on Singapore’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) sector and adjacent sectors such as hospitality.
On Tuesday (Jan 5), Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan informed Parliament that all WEF participants will have to abide by strict public health requirements, including a Covid-19 testing regimen that involves strict safe management measures and a set of pre-departure and on-arrival tests.
Disclosing that specific health requirements and contingency plans are being worked out, Mr Tan gave the assurance: “To minimise the risk of seeding local transmissions, we will also put in place measures to manage the interactions between the local community and the event attendees.”
He added that the Government has been linking local companies and service providers to the WEF and event organiser PublicisLive for potential collaborations. /TISG