DAVOS: The World Economic Forum (WEF) has deferred its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, planned for January 17-21, 2022, due to “continued uncertainty” over the Omicron-strain viral outbreak.
WEF made the announcement on its website, saying that the current circumstances surrounding the spread of the new variant of coronavirus make it “extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting.” It is now planned for early summer, the WEF said in a statement on Monday, without disclosing the exact dates.
“Participants will instead join a headline series of state of the world sessions bringing together global leaders online to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges,” the WEF said.
However, the deferral of the annual meeting will not prevent progress through continued digital convening of leaders from business, government and civil society, Klaus Schwab, WEF’s founder and executive chairman said. “Public-private co-operation has moved forward throughout the pandemic and that will continue apace. We look forward to bringing global leaders together in person soon,” he said.
The statement goes on the explain that “Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted the traditional January gathering in the Swiss Alps for a second consecutive year.
The 2021 forum was initially rescheduled to take place in August 2021 in Singapore but was then cancelled.
The World Economic Forum was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva. It is the world’s biggest annual economics event, attracting business leaders and politicians from around the globe.