Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Collectively, the G20 members make up 85% of the world’s economic output, two-thirds of its population, 75% of international trade and 80% of global investments in research and development.

The G20 convenes its members, guests countries, international organisations, and engagement groups for dialogue on global affairs. Over many specialized meetings which focus on a variety of issues, it builds consensus to develop global policies that address the challenges which humanity faces.

The G20 has neither a headquarters nor a permanent staff. All organization and logistical arrangements for meetings are handled by the country which currently presides over the group.

With only 20 official members, the G20 is agile enough to make prompt decisions and to adapt to new challenges. Its membership features both developed and emerging markets from all continents, making it big enough to be globally representative and the world's most impactful global forum. The inclusion each year of invited countries, international organizations, and civil society through engagement groups allows for a more broad and comprehensive perspective when assessing global challenges and building consensus to address them.

The G20 is one of the most important international forums for collaboration on the global economy. Its meetings address the world’s most pressing challenges and coordinate appropriate global policy responses. In today’s evolving geopolitical context, international collaboration is crucial, making the G20 all the more relevant. The G20 also ensures that developing countries have a greater impact on global affairs.

The prime achievements of the G20 to date include: the quick deployment of emergency funding during the 2008 global financial crisis, reforms for international financial institutions, improving oversight of national financial institutions, bolstering the quality of financial regulatory bodies in markets whose fiscal and monetary policies have led to crisis, and creating a global security network to fight the spread of such crises in the future.

The G20 was conceived at the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in 1999. They were convening in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and saw the need for a broader and more representative body to craft policies that would address the challenges affecting an ever more integrated world economy. They decided to invite key emerging markets in a new forum of finance ministers and central bank governors to discuss global monetary and  financial issues in what would become the G20.

With the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008, the G20 became the method to navigate through the global financial uncertainty, and it became necessary for it to be a forum at the highest political level. Henceforth, the G20 has also been attended by the heads of state or government.

The G20 focuses on a broad agenda of issues of global importance. Although issues pertaining to the global economy dominate the agenda, additional items have been given greater focus in recent years. Traditional topics of debate centre around the global economy, financial markets, tax and fiscal policy, trade, agriculture, jobs, energy, and the fight against corruption. Other elements of recent agendas include the advancement of women in the job market, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, climate change, global health, anti-terrorism and inclusive entrepreneurship, amongst others.

Spain is a permanent invited guest and has attended every G20 summit since 2008. Each year, the host country invites a number of additional countries at its discretion. For the 2018 G20, President Mauricio Macri has invited Chile and the Netherlands.

Key regional organizations are typically invited to participate and are represented by the country which holds the presidency. Examples of regular invitees include the African Union, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, the New Partnership for Africa's Development. For the 2018 G20, President Mauricio Macri has also invited the Caribbean Community, represented by Jamaica.

International organizations also attend G20 meetings. Examples of regular attendees include the Financial Stability Board, the International Labour Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. For the 2018 G20, President Mauricio Macri has also invited the Inter-American Development Bank and the Development Bank of Latin America.

One country is chosen by the G20 members to hold the presidency over the group for one year. The presiding country organizes and hosts the meetings, and sets the agenda priorities to discuss, and invites additional attendees at its discretion. As the G20 has no permanent secretariat, the role of the presiding country is critical to the forum's effectiveness.

The annual G20 presidency rotates between its member countries. The nineteen countries are divided into five groups, each containing no more than four countries. The country groups are predominantly organised on a regional basis. The presidency rotates between each group. Every year, the G20 selects a country from another group to be president.

The groups of G20 countries are the following:

  • Group 1: Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United States
  • Group 2: India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey
  • Group 3: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
  • Group 4: France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom
  • Group 5: China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea

As of the Argentine G20 presidency of 2018, 13 of the 19 G20 countries have hosted the G20 summit.

G20 guest countries are Spain (permanent invitee), Chile and the Netherlands, and on behalf of regional organizations, Singapore (ASEAN), Jamaica (CARICOM), Rwanda (African Union) and Senegal (NEPAD). The Argentine G20 presidency also invited the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

The Argentine presidency aims to bring a Latin American perspective to the G20. It seeks to build a consensus amongst the world’s major powers for fair and sustainable development that will generate equal opportunities for all people. This is closely in line with the concerns and aspirations of the Latin Americans: to harness the region’s great economic potential and advance towards eradicating poverty.

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Meetings will be held across the country: in the city of Buenos Aires and in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Jujuy, Mendoza, Misiones, Río Negro, Salta, Santa Fe, and Tierra del Fuego.

Japan in 2019 and Saudi Arabia in 2020. Neither country has ever held the G20 presidency.

Glossary

  • Troika:

    Trio of three G20 presiding countries: the previous year’s host, the current host, and the coming year’s host. Together, they cooperate to ensure the continuity of the G20's work.

  •  Sherpa:

    The official emissary of a G20 member state to the group. Sherpas aide and advise a G20 leader, speak on their behalf, and coordinate G20 policy in their respective country. Their deputies are known as sous-sherpas.

  • Finance Track:

    The meetings and general policy initiatives undertaken by the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, as well as the representatives of international financial institutions such as the IMF, FSB, World Bank, and the OECD.

  • Sherpa Track:

    The priorities and issues set by the G20 sherpas, which focus on non-financial issues such as jobs, trade, energy, anti-corruption, and development.