The World Economic Forum (WEF) has postponed its Special Annual Meeting in Singapore due to ongoing global travel restrictions and challenges in containing the pandemic.
Originally slated for May, the meeting will now take place from 17 to 20 August. The announcement comes less than a week after WEF's Davos Agenda virtual event, which brought together world leaders from government, business and society.
In a statement, WEF said the meeting's postponement reflects international challenges in containing the pandemic, and expressed ongoing confidence in the Singapore Government and the city-state's ability to host a "safe and effective" meeting.
"Current global travel restrictions have made planning difficult for an in-person meeting in the first half of the year. Furthermore, differing quarantine and air transport regulations have increased the lead time necessary to ensure that participants globally can make arrangements to join," WEF said.
While local transmission of COVID-19 in Singapore remains at negligible levels, Singapore's Ministry for Trade and Industry said the government "understands the challenges" faced by WEF and will continue work closely with the team in the lead-up to the August event.
The Special Annual Meeting will be the first global leadership summit to address the challenges of recovering from the pandemic and will bring leaders face-to-face to focus on shaping solutions.
Speaking at last week's Davos Agenda virtual event, Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong (main), said the decision to host the Special Annual Meeting was not taken lightly.
"Regular, constructive dialogue is crucial to recovery... we are happy to make a modest contribution to the global discussion and we will work with WEF to ensure the safety of all delegates," he said.
All attendees will be expected to adhere to Singapore's public health and safety regulations, which includes contact tracing and wearing a face mask while in public.
While a venue is yet to be confirmed, the meeting is expected to be a hybrid event, with some stakeholders attending virtually.