G-20 major economies: Wikis


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Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Areas in dark blue represent the member countries in the G-20; light blue represent members of the EU not individually represented.
Abbreviation G-20
Formation 1999
2008 (Summit)
Purpose/focus Bring together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy.[1]
G-20 Chair  South Korea (2010)
Staff None[2]
Website http://www.g20.org/

The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (known as the G-20 and also the G20 or Group of Twenty) is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 economies: 19 countries plus the European Union. Recently summits meeting at level of Heads of state have been introduced. The 2010 chair country of the G-20 is South Korea.[3]

Collectively, the G-20 economies comprise 85%[4] of global gross national product, 80% of world trade (including EU intra-trade) and two-thirds of the world population.[2]

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.

With the G-20 growing in stature since the 2008 Washington summit, its leaders announced on September 25, 2009, that the group will replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations.[5]

Heads of states of G-20 members meet biannually at the G-20 Summit. The 2010 G-20 Summits are scheduled to be held in Toronto on June 26–27 and Seoul on November 11–12.



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.

Member countries and organizations

In 2010, there are 20 members of the G-20. These include, at the leaders summits, the leaders of 19 countries and of the European Union and, at the ministerial-level meetings, the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries and of the European Union :[2][6]

Region Member Leader Finance Minister Central Bank Governor Chairmanship
Africa  South Africa
Jacob Zuma
Minister of Finance
Pravin Gordhan
Gill Marcus
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Minister of Economy
Amado Boudou
Mercedes Marcó del Pont
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Minister of Finance
Guido Mantega
Henrique Meirelles
Felipe Calderón
Secretary of Finance
Ernesto Cordero Arroyo
Agustín Carstens
Northern America  Canada
Prime Minister
Stephen Harper
Minister of Finance
Jim Flaherty
Mark Carney
1999 - 2001
 United States
Barack Obama
Secretary of the Treasury
Timothy Geithner
Ben Bernanke
East Asia  China
Hu Jintao
Minister of Finance
Xie Xuren
Zhou Xiaochuan
Prime Minister
Yukio Hatoyama
Minister of Finance
Naoto Kan
Masaaki Shirakawa
 South Korea
Lee Myung-bak
Minister of Strategy
and Finance
Yoon Jeung-hyun
Lee Seong-tae
South Asia  India
Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh
Minister of Finance
Pranab Mukherjee
Duvvuri Subbarao
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Minister of Finance
Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Darmin Nasution
 Saudi Arabia
Minister of Finance
Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf
Muhammed Al-jasser
Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Minister of Finance
Mehmet Şimşek
Durmuş Yılmaz
Europe  European Union
European Council President
Comission President
Herman Van Rompuy

José Manuel Barroso
Commissioner for Economic
and Monetary Affairs
Olli Rehn
Jean-Claude Trichet
Nicolas Sarkozy
Minister of the Economy,
Industry and Employment
Christine Lagarde
Christian Noyer
Angela Merkel
Minister of Finance
Wolfgang Schäuble
Axel A. Weber
Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi
Minister of Economy
and Finance
Giulio Tremonti
Mario Draghi
Dmitry Medvedev
Minister of Finance
Alexei Leonidovich Kudrin
Sergey Mikhaylovich Ignatyev
 United Kingdom
Prime Minister
Gordon Brown
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Alistair Darling
Mervyn King
Oceania  Australia
Prime Minister
Kevin Rudd
Wayne Swan
Glenn Stevens

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:[2]

World Leaders of the G-20 Countries

Membership does not reflect exactly the 19 largest national economies of the world in any given year. The organization states:[1]

In a forum such as the G-20, it is particularly important for the number of countries involved to be restricted and fixed to ensure the effectiveness and continuity of its activity. There are no formal criteria for G-20 membership and the composition of the group has remained unchanged since it was established. In view of the objectives of the G-20, it was considered important that countries and regions of systemic significance for the international financial system be included. Aspects such as geographical balance and population representation also played a major part.

All 19 member nations are among the top 32 economies as measured in GDP at nominal prices in a list published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 2008.[7] Not represented by membership in the G-20 are Switzerland (19), Norway (25), Taiwan (26), Iran (28) and Venezuela (31) even though they rank higher than some members. Spain (9), Netherlands (16), Poland (18), Belgium (20), Sweden (22), Austria (24), Greece (27) and Denmark (29) are included only as part of the EU, and not independently. When the countries' GDP is measured at purchasing power parity (PPP) rates, all 19 members are among the top 24 in the world in 2008, according to the IMF.[8] Iran (17), Taiwan (19) and Thailand (23) are not G-20 members, while Spain (12), Netherlands (19) and Poland (20) are only included in the EU slot. However, in a list of average GDP, calculated for the years since the group's creation (1999–2008) at both nominal and PPP rates, only Spain, Netherlands, Taiwan, and Poland appear above any G-20 member in both lists simultaneously.[9]

It is often argued that the G20, although it provides broader representation than the G8, is not entitled to make decisions that affect the whole world, because its member states are selected arbitrarily. The G20 does not have a charter and its debates are not public, making it an "undemocratic institution."[10] Critics propose an alternative such as an Economic Security Council within the United Nations, where members should be elected by the General Assembly based on their importance in the world economy and the contribution they are willing to provide to world economic development.[11]


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 26 September 1999. The inaugural meeting took place on 15–16 December 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.

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, 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 11 October 2008, US President George W. Bush stated that the next meeting of the G-20 would be important in finding solutions to the (then called) economic crisis of 2008. An initiative by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown led to a special meeting of the G-20, a G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, on 15 November 2008.[12] G20 leaders met again in London on 2 April 2009.[13] Another G20 summit was held 24–25 September 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[14]


G-20 Summits

Leaders of the G-20 countries and others present at the London Summit in London on 2 April 2009

The G-20 Summit was created as a response both to the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and to a growing recognition that key emerging countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance. The G-20 Summits of heads of state or government were held in addition to the G-20 Meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors who continued to meet to prepare the Heads Summits and implement their decisions.

Date Host country Host city
1st[15] November 2008  United States Washington, D.C.
2nd[15] April 2009  United Kingdom London
3rd[15] September 2009  United States Pittsburgh
4th[16] June 2010  Canada Toronto
5th[17] November 2010  South Korea Seoul
6th[18] 2011  France TBD

Meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors:

Public reaction

Since 1999, many of the G-20 meetings have been protested against. While most protests have started out peacefully, many have turned violent with numerous people being injured and property damage in the local areas.[19] The exact reasons for each protest can change from meeting to meeting, and even with multiple protests at the same meetings. However, strong feelings and disapproval from protesters has not changed. As evident by the fact that these protests have been ongoing since 1999, and continue to end violently. Additional news about protests of specific meetings can be found on the pages for those meetings under the See Also section.

See also


  1. ^ a b FAQ #5: What are the criteria for G-20 membership? from the official G-20 website
  2. ^ a b c d G-20 Membership from the official G-20 website
  3. ^ http://www.g20.org/
  4. ^ "No Clear Accord on Stimulus by Top 20 Industrial Nations." The New York Times, page A1, March 15, 2009.
  5. ^ "Officials: G-20 to supplant G-8 as international economic council". CNN. 2009-09-25. http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/09/24/us.g.twenty.summit/index.html. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  6. ^ http://www.g20.org/about_what_is_g20.aspx
  7. ^ World Economic Outlook Database, October 2009, International Monetary Fund
  8. ^ World Economic Outlook Database, April 2009, International Monetary Fund
  9. ^ GDP (Nominal). GDP (PPP) World Economic Outlook Database, April 2009, International Monetary Fund
  10. ^ The G20 ought ro be increased to 6 Billion Daniele Archibugi, Opendemocracy.net
  11. ^ An Economic and Social Security Council at the United Nations Frances Stewart and Sam Daws, Oxford University, March 2001
  12. ^ The G-20 Summit: What’s It All About?, from the Brookings Institute
  13. ^ UK to host G20 financial summit" 26 November 2008 from the UK Prime Minister's Office
  14. ^ US to host next G20 workd meeting BBC News, 28 May 2009
  15. ^ a b c The G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy from the G-20 Information Centre at the University of Toronto
  16. ^ Canada to host 'transition' summit in 2010
  17. ^ "Korea to Host G20 in November". The Korea Times. 25 September 2009. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2009/11/123_55021.html. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  18. ^ Point 31 of the Pittsburgh 2009 Leaders' Statement
  19. ^ A history of violent protest at G20 world trade meetings Times Online, 21 March 2009

External links


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