May 18, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The World Economic Forum’s Special Annual Meeting that was due to take place in Singapore in August was cancelled yesterday by the Switzerland-based organisation.

In a statement, the cancellation was attributed to “the tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies, an uncertain travel outlook, differing speeds of vaccination rollout and the uncertainty around new variants”.

“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 Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

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

A statement in reply from Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said the government “fully appreciates the challenges caused by the ongoing global pandemic, particularly for a large meeting with a broad span of international participants”.

“We will continue to work actively with the World Economic Forum and other key international organisations to promote collaborations between stakeholders on issues of global concern.”

With a further 21 community cases reported on Monday, including 11 unlinked cases, Singapore will close schools from tomorrow in an effort to curb cases in the city state, where several outbreak clusters have emerged.