The World Economic Forum said Wednesday that its annual meeting, which has already been postponed and moved from Switzerland to Singapore, will be pushed back again due to pandemic-related challenges.
The annual gathering of the world’s political, economic and business elite is traditionally held each January in the Alpine village of Davos.
While a virtual meeting of world leaders was held last month, the physical meeting had already been moved due to the Covid-19 crisis and rescheduled to take place in Singapore in May.
But on Wednesday, organisers said it would now be postponed again until August 17-20.
They stressed in a statement that they remained “confident of the measures in place to ensure a safe and effective meeting,” adding that “local transmission of Covid-19 in Singapore remains at negligible levels.”
But, they said, “the change to the meeting’s timing reflects the international challenges in containing the pandemic.”
“Current global travel restrictions have made planning difficult for an in-person meeting in the first half of the year,” the WEF said.
“Furthermore, differing quarantine and air transport regulations have increased the lead time necessary to ensure that participants globally can make arrangements to join.”
WEF stressed the importance of its 2021 meeting, pointing out that it would “be the first global leadership summit to address the challenges of recovering from the pandemic and laying the basis for a more inclusive and sustainable world.”
“It will bring leaders face-to-face to focus on shaping solutions to the most pressing challenges of our times.”
Klaus Schwab, the WEF founder and executive chairman, said the meeting would “provide the place for leaders from business, government and civil society to come together to address the steps for global recovery.”