World Economic Forum will hold the 2021 event outside Switzerland for just the second time in 20 years.
The World Economic Forum has decided to move its annual meeting from Switzerland to Singapore due to the crushing risk of coronavirus in Europe that has not yet disappeared. The decision was announced this week amid uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and progress made in Singapore to host hybrid meetings under security protocols and the virus under control in the city-state.
In a statement on Monday, the WEF said: “The change in location reflects the Forum’s priority of safeguarding the health and safety of participants and the host community.” It added: “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.” The WEF had already pushed the date of next year’s event back from January to May. Then, in October, it said that it would change the location of the meeting from Davos to the lower-altitude city of Lucerne.
The last time the WEF moved its meeting, which attracts business leaders from across the globe, was in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. when the event was held in New York.
Singapore on the rise
Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said the decision reflected confidence in the country’s management of the pandemic and will boost the local business event and conference industry. The annual forum sees leaders from business, government and society gather in Davos to discuss challenges facing the world. The event is due to return to Davos in 2022.
During the usual “Davos week”, which in 2021 runs from 25-29 January, the Forum will host a virtual event to rebuild trust and shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed for 2021. The Davos Agenda will feature participation from heads of state and government, chief executive officers, civil society leaders, global media and youth leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. Building a better future for work, accelerating stakeholder capitalism and harnessing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be important topics on the agenda.
Ahead of the Special Annual Meeting 2021, the Forum will host the Global Technology Governance Summit in Tokyo from 6-7 April 2021. This will feature global stakeholders from government, business and civil society dedicated to ensuring the responsible design and deployment of emerging technologies through public-private collaboration.
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