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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

World Economic Forum cancels annual meet in Singapore


The World Economic Forum (WEF) has informed the Singapore government that it will be cancelling its special annual meeting for 2021, which was scheduled to take place in the island republic from Aug 17-20.

This was due to the continuing global uncertainties caused by Covid-19, the republic's Ministry of Trade and Industry said in response to media queries yesterday.

"The Singapore government fully appreciates the challenges caused by the ongoing global pandemic, particularly for a large meeting with a broad span of international participants.

"We will continue to work actively with the World Economic Forum and other key international organisations to promote collaborations among stakeholders on issues of global concern," the ministry said.

Separately, the WEF said: "Regretfully, the tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies, an uncertain travel outlook, differing speeds of vaccination rollout and the uncertainty around new variants combine to make it impossible to realise a global meeting with business, government and civil society leaders from all over the world at the scale which was planned.

"This is despite the excellent support provided by the government of Singapore."

The next annual meeting will take place in the first half of 2022, with the final location and date to be decided "based on an assessment of the situation later this summer", the WEF added.

"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," the founder and executive chairperson of WEF, Professor Klaus Schwab, said in its website.

"But ultimately the health and safety of everyone concerned is our highest priority.

"We will continue to engage our increasing number of partners into our numerous workstreams addressing the key issues on the global agenda through public-private cooperation," Schwab added. - Mkini

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