Neo Convent Sr. Sec. School

Teacher's Article



What is the G-20?

The Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was established in 1999 to bring together  important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. The inaugural meeting of the G-20 took place in Berlin, on December 15-16, 1999, hosted by German and Canadian finance ministers.

The G-20 is made up of 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, Republic of Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America).  The European Union, which is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank, is the 20th member of the G-20.

The G-20 is the premier forum for international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability. By contributing to the strengthening of the international financial architecture and providing opportunities for dialogue on national policies, international co-operation, and international financial institutions, the G-20 helps to support growth and development across the globe.


The G-20 was created as a response both to the financial crisis of the late 1990s and to a growing recognition that key emerging-market countries were not adequately included in the G-8. Prior to the G-20 creation, similar groupings to promote dialogue and analysis had been established at the initiative of the G-8.


The Group of Eight (G8, and formerly the G6 or Group of Six and also the G7 or Group of Seven) is a forum, created by France in 1975, for governments of six countries in the world: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1976, Canada joined the group (thus creating the G7). In 1997, the group added Russia thus becoming the G8.  


The concept of a forum for the world's major industrialized democracies emerged following  the 1973 oil crisis.

In 1974, a series of meetings in the library of the White House in Washington, D.C. was known as the "Library Group". This was an informal gathering of senior financial officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Japan and France.

In 1975, French President invited the head of governments from West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to a summit. The six leaders agreed to an annual meeting organized under a rotating presidency, forming the Group of Six (G6).

 The following year, Canada joined the group at the behest of Germany's Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and U.S. President Gerald Ford and the group became the Group of Seven (G7).

Following 1994's G7 summit in Naples, Russian officials held separate meetings with leaders of the G7 after the group's summits. This informal arrangement was dubbed the Political 8 (P8) – or, colloquially, the G7+1. At the invitation of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair and President of the United States Bill Clinton, Russia formally joined the group in 1997, resulting in the Group of Eight, or G8.


The G-20 was created as a response both to the financial crisis of the late 1990s and to a growing recognition that key emerging-market countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance.

To ensure global economic forum and institutions work together, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the President of the World Bank, plus the chairs of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and Development Committee of the IMF and World Bank also participate in G-20 meetings on an ex-officio basis. The G-20 thus brings together important industrial and emerging-market countries from all regions of the world.


Many economists feel that the G-20 group is not able to fulfill their expectations.  Such as followings:

-         The G-20 group must aim to unify the positions of the developing countries on the issue of agricultural subsidies.

-         The G20 must present to the WTO convincing arguments for all nations to accept free and fair trade.

-         They must give factual information of the inequities of the current global trading system. Work must be presented where a resolution will be found by mutual cooperation amongst both developed and developing countries.

-         The group must stand together against stronger economies; it must not yield to international pressure to separate.

-         The group must gain strength numbers and unity.  It should be more than 20, so that all countries can put their views on world’ platform.

So in my views there should be no disparity, no discrimination on the basis of economy. They (developed and developing countries) must work for equality among whole world.   Make every effort to achieve fair trade in free trade. Efforts must be made in agreement and cooperation with both developed and developing countries to raise a common voice for the real economic growth and stability of the world.

Bibliography/ References


-         The G8 System and the G20: Evolution, Role and Documentation, p. 30.





-         G8: The Most Exclusive Club in the World,  Thomas S. Axworthy,  The Canadian Encyclopedia,  Historica Foundation of Canada,  Toronto

-         Hanging in There: The G7 and G8 Summit in Maturity and Renewal.

Mr. Ashok Kumar,  Advait House