The World Economic Forum has cancelled its August meeting in Singapore because of renewed fears over the Covid-19 pandemic.
As recently as last week, organisers were still planning to proceed with the illustrious event of global policymakers, which was moved from its usual home in Davos, Switzerland, to Singapore.
Having initially been scheduled for May, the summit has been delayed twice, but was set to take place from 17 to 20 August.
The new venue had been chosen on the back of concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in Europe.
The WEF had brought together world leaders from government, business and society for a Davos-style event in January, but said that a special meeting was needed to discuss how to come back from the pandemic.
In a 17 May statement, 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 has now been pushed back to the first half of 2022. A final location and date will be determined after reviewing the situation later this summer, the WEF said.
“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 WEF. “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 work streams addressing the key issues on the global agenda through public private cooperation,” the WEF statement added.
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