World Economic Forum Swops Switzerland For S’pore, 1st Time It’ll Be Held In Asia
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international organisation that meets up every year to discuss important global issues.
It normally sees the movers and shakers of the world like presidents, CEOs and professors gathering in the ice-cold environment of Davos, Switzerland.
However, from next year, the likes of the President of the United States won’t be needing their winter gear any more.
They’ll be needing sunglasses and air-conditioning instead, as sunny Singapore will be hosting the WEF for the first time.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said the move shows that the international community trusts Singapore handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
2nd time held outside Switzerland, 1st time in Asia
In a press release on Monday (7 Dec), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said the WEF will be hosted by Singapore in May 2021.
According to Bloomberg, the exact dates are 13-16 May.
This is the 2nd time the meeting will be held outside of Switzerland since 1971 — the year the WEF was founded.
It’ll also be the 1st time it’s held in Asia.
That means Singapore will join a select group of just 3 countries to have held the meeting.
Switzerland’s Covid-19 cases have spiked recently
The WEF usually meets in Jan every year.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that it was considering alternative venues due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in Switzerland.
The European country has been seeing a resurgence of the virus recently, and reported about 54,000 new cases in the last 2 weeks.
That’s almost as many as Singapore has in total (58,273).
The rest of Europe and the US isn’t doing much better, so Singapore was reportedly proposed to be the alternative venue.
Singapore has been opening up MICE sector
Singapore was chosen not only because our number of Covid-19 cases is relatively low.
Recently, we’ve successfully held pilots of large-scale events like the Singapore International Energy Week 2020 and TravelRevive 2020.
At these events, new meeting protocols have been tried out, including safe management measures like contact tracing and Covid-19 tests on arrival.
Thus, when the WEF is held, similar strict safety measures will also be conducted.
WEF’s move shows trust in Singapore’s Covid-19 handling
Mr Chan said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (8 Dec) early morning that the WEF’s move to Singapore is a good thing for us.
It shows that the international community trusts and has confidence in our handling of the pandemic, he added.
Singapore appreciates the WEF’s faith in our ability to provide a safe, neutral and conducive venue for top global leaders to congregate, Mr Chan said.
So the health and safety of Singaporeans the WEF participants will be a top priority as we hold the summit.
The successful holding of high-level meetings will help re-establish Singapore as a global business hub.
He also hopes we can be a positive example of how to resume economic activities safely.
WEF will be good for Singapore
The holding of the WEF is surely a good thing for Singapore, as it’ll raise our international profile just like the Trump-Kim Summit did in 2018.
The WEF will also give a timely boost to our MICE sector and its adjacent sectors such as the hotel industry, which has been badly hit by the pandemic.
Let’s hope Singapore will have almost decimated Covid-19 by May, so we can be fully prepared to welcome the VVIPs to our shores.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook and MS News.