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WEF calls off 2021 summit in Singapore

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The World Economic Forum said it was "impossible" to convene an in-person meeting this year because of the pandemic./AFP
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May 18, 2021 - 07:21 AM

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The World Economic Forum announced Monday that it had called off its planned annual gathering of global political, economic and business leaders, which had been set for August in Singapore.

The WEF said it was “impossible” to convene an in-person meeting this year due to uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting is traditionally held each January in the Swiss Alpine village of Davos.

But it has already been shifted around and pushed back several times due to the coronavirus crisis.

The WEF blamed “the tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies, an uncertain travel outlook, differing speeds of vaccination rollout and the uncertainty around new variants” for the latest postponement.

It said those factors had combined, making “impossible to realise a global meeting with business, government and civil society leaders from all over the world at the scale which was planned”.

The Geneva-based institution said the next annual meeting would instead take place in the first half of 2022, with the date and location to be determined later this year.

“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 WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab.

“But ultimately the health and safety of everyone concerned is our highest priority.”

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