ENG - The G-20 (more formally, the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors) is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 economies: 19 of the world's largest national economies, plus the European Union (EU). It also met once at heads-of-government level, in November 2008. Collectively, the G-20 economies comprise 85% of global gross national product, 80% of world trade (including EU intra-trade) and two-thirds of the world population.
The G-20 is a forum for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system. It studies, reviews, and promotes discussion among key industrial and emerging market countries of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability, and seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.
The G-20 operates without a permanent secretariat or staff. The chair rotates annually among the members and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries. The chair is part of a revolving three-member management group of past, present and future chairs referred to as the Troika.
The incumbent chair establishes a temporary secretariat for the duration of its term, which coordinates the group's work and organizes its meetings. The role of the Troika is to ensure continuity in the G-20's work and management across host years.
Members of G-20
In 2009, there are 20 members of the G-20. These include the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries:
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States
The 20th member is the European Union, which is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank.
In addition to these 20 members, the following forums and institutions, as represented by their respective chief executive officers, participate in meetings of the G-20:
- International Monetary Fund
- World Bank
- International Monetary and Financial Committee
- Development Committee of the IMF and World Bank
The membership of the G-20 comprises:
the finance ministers and central bank governors of the G7, 14 other key countries, and
- the European Union Presidency (if not a G7 member)
- the European Central Bank
- the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
- the Chairman of the IMFC
- the President of the World Bank
- the Chairman of the Development Committee
Of the current top 21 economies by purchasing power parity (IMF and / or World Bank ranking, 2007), Iran and Taiwan are notably absent. Spain, Netherlands and Poland are included only as part of the EU. Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and South Africa are included while ranking in the range of 21-25.
Thailand is passed over although ranked one position above South Africa.
The G-20, which superseded the G33, which had itself superseded the G22, was foreshadowed at the Cologne Summit of the G7 in June 1999, but was formally established at the G7 Finance Ministers' meeting on September 26, 1999. The inaugural meeting took place on December 15-16, 1999 in Berlin. In 2008 Spain and The Netherlands were included by French invitation for the G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy and then were admitted as members de facto by the UK.
In 2006 the theme of the G-20 meeting was “Building and Sustaining Prosperity”. The issues discussed included domestic reforms to achieve “sustained growth”, global energy and resource commodity markets, ‘reform’ of the World Bank and IMF, and the impact of demographic changes due to an aging population.
Trevor A. Manuel, MP, Minister of Finance, Republic of South Africa, was the chairperson of the G-20 when South Africa hosted the Secretariat in 2007. Guido Mantega, Minister of Finance, Brazil, was the chairperson of the G-20 in 2008; Brazil proposed dialogue on competition in financial markets, clean energy and economic development and fiscal elements of growth and development. In a statement following a meeting of G7 finance ministers on October 11, 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush stated that the next meeting of the G-20 would be important in finding solutions to the economic crisis of 2008. An initiative by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Br own led to a special meeting of the G-20, a G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, on November 15, 2008. G20 leaders are expected to meet again in London on 2 April 2009.