The World Economic Forum on Wednesday said its special annual meeting for 2021 will now be held in August in Singapore as against earlier scheduled dates in May this year.
Geneva-based WEF, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation, has been holding its high-profile annual meeting, attended by the rich and powerful from across the world, in January every year in Swiss ski resort town of Davos, but it could not do so this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, the WEF held an online Davos Agenda Summit this time in the last week of January and had planned to hold a special in-person annual meeting for 2021 in Singapore, before taking the event back to Davos in 2022.
"The meeting follows the success of the Forum's virtual Davos Agenda in January, which brought together world leaders from government, business and society," it added.
Earlier, the special annual meeting 2021 was scheduled for May 25-28.
"Although the World Economic Forum and Government of Singapore remain confident of the measures in place to ensure a safe and effective meeting, and local transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore remains at negligible levels, the change to the meeting's timing reflects the international challenges in containing the pandemic," the WEF said.
However, current global travel restrictions have made planning difficult for an in-person meeting in the first half of the year. Furthermore, differing quarantine and air transport regulations have increased the lead time necessary to ensure that participants globally can make arrangements to join, it added.
The special annual meeting 2021 in Singapore in August will be the first global leadership summit to address the challenges of recovering from the pandemic and laying the basis for a more inclusive and sustainable world.
It will bring leaders face-to-face to focus on shaping solutions to the most pressing challenges of our times.
"A global leadership summit needs the participation of all global stakeholders," WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said.
The Singapore meeting will provide the place for leaders from business, government and civil society to come together to address the steps for global recovery, he added.
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