ZURICH: The World Economic Forum (WEF) will convene its Special Annual Meeting in Singapore next year from May 13 to May 16.
The event will be the first global leadership event to address worldwide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, said WEF in a press release on Monday (Dec 7).
"This in-person meeting will bring together leaders to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges," it added.
The meeting is usually held in Davos, Switzerland every year. "The change in location reflects the Forum’s priority of safeguarding the health and safety of participants and the host community," said WEF.
"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."
In a press release on Monday, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said WEF's decision to hold the meeting in Singapore "reflects its confidence in our management of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far".
"The hosting of WEF’s Special Annual Meeting will have a positive impact on Singapore’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) sector and adjacent sectors such as hospitality," added MTI.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said: "As the world battles COVID-19, there is an even greater impetus for countries to cooperate, collaborate, and partner each other to address pressing global issues."
Mr Chan also expressed "confidence" in Singapore's ability to maintain public health and safety "while supporting the WEF’s mission to effect positive change through collaboration and engagement".
MTI said 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.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF Klaus Schwab said a global leadership summit is of "crucial importance to address how we can recover together".
He added that the Special Annual Meeting 2021 would be a place for leaders from business, government, and civil society to meet in first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Public-private cooperation is needed more than ever to rebuild trust and address the fault lines that emerged in 2020," he said.
WEF will also hold a virtual event from Jan 25, 2021 to Jan 29, 2021 during the usual "Davos week".
It 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.