The decision by the World Economic Forum to move its annual gathering of global elites from the Swiss ski resort of Davos to tropical Singapore in May is as much a coup for Asia as the city state. Chosen for its track record in handling the Covid-19 pandemic amid Europe’s dismal performance, the new location aims to ensure thousands of global movers and shakers have a safe haven in which to give speeches, strike deals and get to better know one another. But the decision also focuses global attention on a region that, having been the first to experience the disease, will in many instances also lead the global economic recovery. In a sea of international negatives, that is reason for the organisers of the conference and other major events to look on East Asia as being more often a host than merely a participant. Only once before has the forum moved from Davos since its inception in 1971; New York was chosen in 2002 in a show of support a year after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Covid-19 has been devastating for global health and economic activity and Singapore represents a rare bubble of safety. The hot topic of discussion this time is obvious, with business and political elites eager to formulate strategies to move forward, particularly now that hope of a recovery has been raised with promising outcomes for a number of vaccines. Asia also has a key role in that regard, Chinese companies and scientists working on five of the drugs and production facilities preparing for government approvals and roll-outs. But learning first hand about Asia’s coronavirus experience is only one of the benefits for participants from outside the region. They will be able to interact to a higher degree than usual with Asia’s leading business, political, academic, scientific and humanitarian figures. World Economic Forum to be held in Singapore instead of Switzerland From that will come better understanding and knowledge about how important Asia is to global recovery and growth, technological developments, supply chains, trade and involvement in multinational organisations. Covid-19 has not been defeated, as new waves prove; Singapore’s hosting of the forum could still be jeopardised should significant new outbreaks occur. But the nation and region have been given a stamp of approval and it is an opportunity to be capitalised upon.