By Zack Budryk, THE HILL, 12/07/20
The World Economic Forum (WEF), which typically takes place in Davos, Switzerland, will be held in Singapore in 2021, Reuters reported Monday, as organizers work to deal with the lasting effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The move will mark only the second time since 1971 that the event has been held outside Davos and the first time it has been held in Asia.
“The World Economic Forum will convene the Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore from 13-16 May. It will return to Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, for the Annual Meeting 2022,” event organizers said in a statement Monday.
In an internal email viewed by Reuters, WEF President Borge Brende said coronavirus rates in Europe have made the continent unfeasible for the 2021 meeting, while Singapore has successfully contained the virus. The WEF had previously moved the meeting to Buergenstock, Switzerland, in October.
Singapore has kept its borders almost completely sealed for most of this year and imposed widespread contact tracing, but was forced to cancel plans to create an air-travel bubble between the city-state and Hong Kong in November.
Singaporean officials said they will establish numerous precautions to prevent the spread of the virus within the meeting, including testing upon arrival and throughout the meeting and contact tracing of all participants.
“Despite the ongoing pandemic, we are confident that Singapore will be able to continue maintaining public health and safety while supporting the WEF’s mission to effect positive change through collaboration and engagement,” Singapore trade minister Chan Chun Sing said in a statement, according to Reuters.