It’s official. The World Economic Forum will be held in Singapore next year instead of Switzerland.
WEF president Borge Brende said the pandemic has made it difficult to ensure the health and safety of participants in Europe.
Normally held in the ski resort of Davos each January, the 2021 edition was postponed due to the pandemic and scheduled for May at the Buergenstock.
However, the surging pandemic in Europe has cast doubts on Buergenstock as the alternative venue.
Earlier unconfirmed media reports said WEF founder Klaus Schwab had talks with representatives in Singapore.
“The Managing Board took a very important decision today to move the Special Annual Meeting 2021 to Singapore (13-16 May),” WEF president Brende said in an email.
“We had foreseen to organize our Annual Meeting 2021 in Lucerne-Burgenstock this spring. Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 situation in Europe makes it unlikely that we would be able to create the necessary conditions to ensure the health and safety of our staff, participants and the broader community,” Brende said.
After careful consideration, and in light of the current situation with regards to COVID-19 cases, it was decided that Singapore was best placed to hold the meeting.
“Singapore has been successful in dealing with the pandemic,” he said.
In a statement posted on its website, the WEF said the Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore will be the first global leadership event to address worldwide recovery from the pandemic. This in-person meeting will bring together leaders to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
“A global leadership summit is of crucial importance to address how we can recover together,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “The Special Annual Meeting 2021 will be a place for leaders from business, government and civil society to meet in person for the first time since the start of the global pandemic. Public-private cooperation is needed more than ever to rebuild trust and address the fault lines that emerged in 2020.”