Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry with the rescheduling of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to August 2021 (a) how has this impacted Singapore’s plans and preparations for the event; (b) what are the measures in place to reduce the likelihood of further postponement; and (c) how will the Government address the challenges and concerns faced by WEF to ensure the conference proceeds as planned.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Culture, Community and Youth, Alvin Tan)
1. I thank the member for his question and members of the house for their continued interest in the World Economic Forum Special Annual Meeting. It acknowledges the significance of Singapore’s hosting of this important global event and the signal of confidence that it sends about Singapore’s management thus far of the pandemic. The World Economic Forum rescheduled the Special Annual Meeting in Singapore from 25-28 May 2021 to 17-20 August 2021. The Forum explained that current restrictions on global travel and the challenges that many countries are facing in combating the COVID-19 virus, have made it challenging to plan for an in-person meeting in the first half of 2021.
2. When the Forum announced this change, it made the point to reaffirm its confidence in Singapore’s management of the COVID-19 situation and the measures that had been proposed to ensure the safe conduct of the event. We will proceed with the necessary preparations with the new dates in mind, but will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in Singapore and globally and make the necessary preparations as required.