The World Economic Forum will hold its next annual meeting in Singapore in May rather than the coronavirus-stricken Switzerland.
The World Economic Forum will hold its 2021 annual meeting in Singapore instead of its traditional home of Switzerland, which is battling a growing number of coronavirus infections.
The high-level gathering, which attracts leaders from government, finance and economics, will be held in the Asian financial hub from May 13 to 16 and return to Davos-Klosters, Switzerland in 2022, the World Economic Forum. The meeting will also include a virtual component to allow for greater participation, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Singapore was chosen because it has a relatively low rate of Covid-19 cases and has recently started experimenting with modified versions of large-scale conferences. Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum announced that it would move the location of its 2021 meeting in Switzerland to the resort town of Bürgenstock.
Switzerland is battling an upsurge in infections and has registered around 54,000 new cases in the past two weeks, almost as many as Singapore has reported since the start of the epidemic.
“The Special Annual Meeting 2021 will be a place where leaders from business, government and civil society meet in person for the first time since the onset of the global pandemic,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Forum global economy.
In recent years, the WEF annual meeting has attracted political leaders, including US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as a parade of billionaires, leaders and celebrities to debate global challenges.
Singapore has contained the virus with strict measures, such as implementing a partial lockdown for two months, wearing a mask and limiting social gatherings. This has allowed the economy to gradually reopen since mid-June, with daily cases in the community declining to low or even zero, as most new cases are imported.
“Despite the ongoing pandemic, we are confident that Singapore will be able to continue to maintain public health and safety while supporting the WEF’s mission to bring positive change through collaboration and commitment,” said Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, said in a statement. declaration.
Singapore pushed ahead with the reopening of its meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions business, known as MICE. Since October 1, the city-state has accepted requests for conventions that can accommodate up to 250 people, with certain restrictions.
Its approach to the pandemic era of large-scale business meetings was tested at Singapore International Energy Week in October. Participants at the conference, held at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in the city center, had to take a rapid test for Covid-19, with results within 30 minutes, and download a search app for contacts.