ZURICH (Reuters) – The 2021 Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) summit of business leaders and politicians has been called off for January due to the coronavirus pandemic, with organisers planning to reschedule the event to sometime early next summer.
“The advice from experts is that we cannot (host the event) safely in January,” WEF said on Wednesday in a statement.
The confab in the Swiss Alps that has hosted rival heads of state including U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in recent years has been held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos since 1971.
WEF, which takes over the ski resort of Davos for about a week each year, has branded itself as the world’s top venue for the business and political elite to meet and discuss the challenges of globalisation.
The group said the decision to delay this year’s edition “was not taken easily, since the need for global leaders to come together to design a common recovery path and shape the ‘Great Reset’ in the post-COVID-19 era is so urgent.”
In lieu of the meeting, it would host virtual ‘high-level’ discussions the week of January 25, WEF said, adding it would share dates and location of the rescheduled meeting once it was assured of health and safety conditions.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi in Zurich, editing by John Miller)