World Economic Forum cancels big event in 2021 amid pandemic

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Geneva: World Economic Forum organisers say they have decided to cancel their annual gathering usually held in Davos, Switzerland each year this year amid concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

After multiple attempts to find a proper date and venue, most recently settling on hopes to hold it in Singapore in August, the forum’s organisers said in a statement on Monday that it won’t go ahead with the meeting, largely citing the impact of the coronavirus. 

Regretfully, the tragic circumstances unfolding across geographies, an uncertain travel outlook, differing speeds of vaccination rollout and the uncertainty around new variants combine to make it impossible to realise a global meeting with business, government and civil society leaders from all over the world at the scale which was planned, the forum said. 

Forum founder Klaus Schwab called it a difficult decision …”but ultimately the health and safety of everyone concerned is our highest priority. 

The forum’s next annual gathering will be in the first half of next year, with the final date and location to be determined, organisers said.

The elite gathering typically draws hundreds of well-known government leaders, business executives, civil society advocates and artists, actors and musicians.