The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Singapore is being canceled due to uncertainty surrounding new variants of COVID-19, dubious travel outlook, and the different speeds that vaccinations are being rolled out across the globe.
The meeting was scheduled to take place in August and is now being planned for the first six months of next year. A date is anticipated to be firmed up after assessing the situation in the summer, according to Monday (May 17) press release from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF stated that the Singapore government offered “excellent support” but the worldwide circumstances due to the pandemic made a global meeting “impossible to realize” given the scale of the event and the number of leaders expected to attend from all corners of the world.
“It was a difficult decision, particularly in view of the great interest of our partners to come together not just virtually but in person, and to contribute to a more resilient, more inclusive and more sustainable world,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “But ultimately the health and safety of everyone concerned is our highest priority.”
Schwab said WEF will continue to communicate with its various partners about the central tenets of the agenda.
The annual meeting usually takes place in Davos, Switzerland, but organizers decided in December 2020 to change the location to Singapore, Reuters reported. Held since 1971, the event is typically attended by political and business leaders from around the world.
New cases in Singapore have spiked, with 193 domestic cases, compared to 55 last month and nine in March. Many people have been testing positive for the B.1.617 coronavirus variant first found in India, South China Morning Post reported.
Last August, WEF postponed the annual meeting to this year due to the worldwide pandemic. The WEF said that since the pandemic, nearly 1,800 organizations joined the forum’s COVID Action Platform.