The G-20 (Group of 20) is an international forum which was formed with the purpose of establishing international cooperation on global economic and financial issues. The forum plays an important role in decision making on issues of international relevance.
G20 countries account for three-quarters of global trade. The G-20 countries produce more than 80 per cent of the global economic output.
Around two-third of the global population lives in G-20 member countries.
The G-20 started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis that sent shockwaves through the global economic community.
In 2008, the first G-20 Leaders’ Summit was held, and the group played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis that rattled world markets causing massive financial instabilty and leading to the collapse of financial institutions. Its decisive and coordinated actions boosted consumer and business confidence and supported the global economic recovery.
How it works
Each year in December a different G-20 member country assumes presidency of the forum. To ensure continuity, the presidency is supported by a “troika” (Trio) made up of the current, immediate past and next host countries. Being an informal group, the group has no permanent secretariat.
The G-20 president is responsible for bringing together the G-20 agenda in consultation with other members and in response to developments in the global economy. The summit and the preparatory processes – often including more than 60 ministerial and working group meetings per year – are coordinated by the respective host country.
Members of G20
The twenty members of the forum are :
Republic of Korea
The United Kingdom
The united States
The European Union
The map displays the member countries, which represent two-thirds of the world population (Image source: g20.org) (Others)
At the invitation of each Presidency, international organisations also regularly attend the G20 meetings. These organisations include the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the World Bank (WB), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN). The German G20 Presidency has also invited the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2017.
Spain attends the G-20 Summits as a permanent guest. The Presidency can also invite representatives of regional organisations and guests to the G-20 Summit.
India and G20
India has enacted a number of legislations and taken steps to tackle issues like black money, terror financing and food security which can be traced back to G-20.
For instance, India enacted the National Food Security Act with the objective to provide food and nutritional security by ensuring access to adequate quantity of food at affordable prices to people.
India stands to gain from G-20 knowledge sharing and best practices of improving food security without increasing water consumption to unsustainable levels. The same can then also form part of implementation under the National Water Policy of India.
G-20 has emerged as an important forum where global leaders come together to discuss issues of international significance. At a time, when countries like US are turning inwards and showing signs of protectionism, forums like G-20 have assumed all the more importance to steer the global economic community.