SINGAPORE: Attendees of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Special Annual Meeting in Singapore in May will adhere to strict public health requirements and safe management measures, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan on Tuesday (Jan 5).
These include a rigorous COVID-19 testing regime, such as pre-departure and on-arrival testing, as well as strict safe management measures during the meeting, said Mr Tan in Parliament.
“To minimise the risk of seeding local transmissions, we will also put in place measures to manage the interactions between the local community and the event attendees,” he said.
Mr Tan was responding to Yio Chu Kang SMC Member of Parliament (MP) Yip Hon Weng, who asked about how the health requirements will be implemented for participants. Mr Yip also asked about contingency plans should the COVID-19 situation worsen, requiring the closure of borders.
“The specific public health requirements and contingency plans are currently being worked out, and will take into consideration the latest COVID-19 situations here in Singapore and also globally,” said Mr Tan, adding that health requirements developed for the forum could serve as a reference for subsequent events held here.
Mr Yip also asked if there are plans for the majority of Singapore’s population to be vaccinated before the event.
In response, Mr Tan said that the availability and the roll out of vaccines globally and in Singapore are still being worked out.
“We will continue to evaluate the situation with these roll out programmes ... locally as well as globally, and apply the prevailing conditions to all incoming travellers to Singapore,” he said.
The WEF announced last month that it will convene its Special Annual Meeting in Singapore in May.
The event will be the first global leadership event to address worldwide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, said WEF on Dec 7.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry previously said that this would be the second time the WEF Special Annual Meeting will be held outside of Switzerland since its establishment in 1971, and the first time it will be held in Asia.
Mr Yip asked to what extent Singaporean talents will be involved in "the executive component of organising the event".
Mr Tan said the WEF's intent is for the Special Annual Meeting to have a greater focus on Asia, given "Asia’s growing importance and economic weight in the global economy".
"We are looking forward to the opportunity for Singapore to contribute to the programme and the discussions at the meeting,” said Mr Tan.
He added that the authorities have been introducing interested local firms and service providers to the WEF and its contracted event organiser PublicisLive for potential partnerships.
“It will also be a good chance for us to showcase how Singapore has made it possible through our efforts to maintain robust health protocols while sustaining important economic and business activity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Minister of State.
“In order for us to host the World Economic Forum Special Annual Meeting successfully in Singapore, we will not let our guard down but instead continue to do our best to minimise the number of COVID-19 infections in Singapore."