The World Economic Forum (WEF) will not go ahead with an annual meeting that had been set to take place in Singapore in August, the city-state’s government confirmed on Monday.
Singapore’s Trade and Industry Ministry said the WEF informed the government that the meeting would be shelved “due to the continuing global uncertainties caused by Covid-19.”
Citing “an uncertain travel outlook” and “differing speeds of vaccination,” the WEF said the meeting would be rearranged for early 2022, with the date and location to be determined “based on an assessment of the situation later this summer.”
Last year, the WEF announced that the wealthy South-east Asian nation would temporarily replace Davos, the Swiss town which had become synonymous with the high-powered gathering of heads of governments and big businesses.
The initial plan was to stage the Singapore event this month, but that was changed in February amid a winter wave of virus cases in Europe and North America.
While virus case numbers are falling in Western nations, parts of Asia have in recent weeks seen significant increases.
After a small recent rise in case numbers, Singapore on Monday postponed the launch of a ‘travel bubble’ with Hong Kong, after last week reimposing some local restrictions, banning in-person dining at restaurants and capping attendances at events to 100.
Singapore had earlier largely reopened domestically after ending a short coronavirus lockdown in June last year.
The Health Ministry reported 28 new cases on Monday. Despite the relatively low numbers, local officials are concerned about new “unlinked” or hard-to-trace community cases.