Singapore has announced an initiative to open the city to business travelers for face-to-face business meetings. Beginning in January, business travelers from all countries will be able to apply to visit Singapore for up to 14 days to conduct in-person meetings.

However under the Connect@Singapore initiative, travelers to the Lion City must apply in advance, remain in a designated bubble facility, and undergo regular testing throughout their stay.

A bubble facility near Changi Airport, Connect@Changi, will offer a “test-stay-work-meet experience,” with housing for travelers and meeting spaces, according to a statement from Temasek Holdings, the consortium lead.

The venue will initially include more than 670 guestrooms. In addition, 170 conference rooms equipped with features such as floor-to-ceiling glass partitions, will help safely facilitate meetings between travelers and local businesses.

When the facility is complete in mid-2021, Connect@Changi will have over 1,300 guestrooms and 340 meeting spaces.

Applications for Connect@Singapore will open in mid-January, with the first travelers expected to arrive soon afterwards. The initiative complements Singapore’s existing country agreements, including the Reciprocal Green Lane.

Singapore Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing said the initiative is part of the city state’s efforts to reopen borders in a safe and controlled manner. He expects Connect@Singapore to help restore Singapore’s status as a global business hub.

“Although there has been positive news on the vaccine development front, we do not expect the current situation to blow over quickly,” said Chan in a social media post. “Connect@Singapore is an important initiative which will allow us to strengthen our position as the location of choice for businesses to exchange ideas and deepen engagement.”

The Connect@Singapore announcement comes after reports earlier in the month that the World Economic Forum, which usually takes place in Davos, Switzerland, will relocate to Singapore in May 2021, according to Reuters.

“After careful consideration, and in light of the current situation with regards to COVID-19 cases, it was decided that Singapore was best placed to hold the meeting,” the event’s organizers said in the announcement.

gov.sg