G20: The evolution and expansion of the international summit

G20 Summit

The G20 is a year away from celebrating its 20th anniversary. What began as a forum for finance ministers and central bank governors has expanded into something much larger over two decades. 

CGTN’s Frances Kuo explains how the annual summit evolved into what it is today.

In 1999, during a forum in Cologne, Germany, the finance ministers of the original Group of 7, or “G7”, discussed starting a meeting that included more of the global community, including developing countries.

That same year, the “G20” was born – with the original seven (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), 12 additional nations (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey) and the European Union.

The G20 invites a handful of non-members to each summit. Spain is a permanent guest. This year’s other guests are Chile, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Senegal, and Singapore.

Today, the G20 makes up about 80% of global trade and helps to establish economic policy for the world.

Fast Facts on the G20

Participants of the G20 met for the first time at the leaders’ level in 2008 in Washington, D.C. The group has no headquarters or permanent staff. Annual summit topics include trade, climate change, terrorism and gender equality.

The G20 represents a majority of the global economy. G20 members make up 85% of the world’s output, and represent more than 60% of the global population.

Members also account for more than 70% of international trade and nearly 80% of investments worldwide, making the G20 the world’s central body for economic and fiscal policy.

Saruhan Hatipoglu on what to expect from the G20

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talked to Saruhan Hatipoglu, CEO of the consulting firm BERI, and CGTN’s Economic Analyst, about the issues likely to dominate the G20.