Singapore skyline | Representational image | Pixabay
Skyline of Singapore (Representational image) | Pixabay
Text Size:

Singapore: The World Economic Forum will hold its 2021 annual meeting in Singapore instead of its traditional home of Switzerland, which is battling a rising number of coronavirus infections.

The high-profile gathering, which attracts leaders across government, finance and economics, will be held in the Asian financial hub May 13-16 and return to Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in 2022, the World Economic Forum said. The meeting will also include a virtual component to allow greater participation, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Singapore was chosen because it has a relatively low rate of Covid-19 cases, and has recently started experimenting with modified versions of large-scale conference. Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum had said it would move the location of its 2021 meeting within Switzerland to the resort of Bürgenstock.

Switzerland is fighting a surge in infections and had about 54,000 new cases in the last two weeks, almost as many as Singapore has reported since the outbreak began.

“The Special Annual Meeting 2021 will be a place for leaders from business, government and civil society to meet in person for the first time since the start of the global pandemic,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

In years past, the WEF’s annual meeting has attracted political leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as a parade of billionaires, executives and celebrities to debate global challenges.

Singapore’s re-opening

Singapore brought the virus under control with strict measures, such as implementing a partial lockdown for two months, requiring mask wearing and limiting social gatherings. That’s allowed the economy to gradually re-open since mid-June, with daily cases in the community dwindling to low single digits or even zero, while most new cases are imported.

“Despite the ongoing pandemic, we are confident that Singapore will be able to continue maintaining public health and safety while supporting the WEF’s mission to effect positive change through collaboration and engagement,” Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s minister for trade and industry, said in a statement.

Singapore has been pushing forward with re-opening its meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions sector, known as MICE. The city-state since Oct. 1 has accepted applications for conventions that could host as many as 250 people, with certain restrictions.

Its pandemic-era approach to large-scale business meetings got a test run during Singapore International Energy Week in October. Attendees at the conference, held at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in the city’s center, were required to take a rapid Covid-19 test, with results within 30 minutes, and download a contact-tracing app. -Bloomberg

Also read: Why the Davos elite shouldn’t design the post-Covid world


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism



  1. Singapore chosen first Asian country to hold World Economic Forum meeting in May ( 13-16 ) 2021.
    According to news reports , World Economic Forum President Borge Brenede said in an email on 7 December 2020 that WEF meeting would be held in Singapore instead of Switzerland ( Davos ) next year as the Covid-19 pandemic would make it difficult to ensure the health and safety of participants. It was added that Singapore has been successful in dealing with the pandemic. Therefore a very important decision was taken by the managing board to move the Special Annual Meeting 2021 to Singapore in May ( 13-16 ). It may be observed that this is the first time that an Asian country has been chosen to hold the WEF annual meeting.
    In this context , it may be apt to refer readers to this Vedic astrology writer’s one of predictions in article – “ Reading planetary impacts for Singapore covering coming year 2021” – shared widely with news media of Singapore on 2 October , 2020 as follows :-
    “( 4 ). During nearly two months from January-February in 2021 ( new year ) , Singapore looks to be engaged in taking ambitious , well-meant , bold , strategic and strength-giving measures to address the key worrisome concerns facing the country like economy , Covid-19 or any other worrisome health concern , sea and sea-wealth and the like. Planetary indications suggest that such measures are likely to have some success. Support of some powerful nations can be had or can think of joining the group composed of powerful countries. Some success in the field of energy sector , medical science discovery , food or agriculture may come about”.
    The details brought out here confirm the predictive trend underlined by this writer for Singapore over two months prior on 2 October , 2020.

Comments are closed.