The G20 is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies. Its members account for more than 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the population of the planet.
The forum has met every year since 1999 and includes, since 2008, a yearly Summit, with the participation of the respective Heads of State and Government.
In addition to the Summit, ministerial meetings, Sherpa meetings (in charge of carrying out negotiations and building consensus among Leaders), working groups and special events are organized throughout the year.
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The G20 members are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.
Each year, the Presidency invites guest countries, which take full part in the G20 exercise. Several international and regional organizations also participate, granting the forum an even broader representation.
The G20 does not have a permanent secretariat: its agenda and activities are established by the rotating Presidencies, in cooperation with the membership.
A "Troika", represented by the country that holds the Presidency, its predecessor and its successor, works to ensure continuity within the G20.
The Troika countries are currently Saudi Arabia, Italy and Indonesia.
Within the G20 process, a particular place is reserved for the "Finance Track", which includes the meetings held among Finance and Economy Ministers, Central Bank Governors, Vice Ministers and Sherpas (negotiators) designated by the respective economic ministries.
The Finance Track mainly focuses on economic, financial, monetary and tax issues. The outcome of this process flows into the broader “Communiqué”, traditionally adopted by the G20 Heads of State and Government at the end of the Summit.
In 1999, in the wake of the 1997 economic crisis, the G7 Finance Ministers announced the creation of the "Group of 20", aimed at including other countries in their discussions related to global economics and finance. The first official meeting of the G20 was held in Berlin in December that same year.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, the United States proposed to increase the level of participation of the G20 to Heads of State and Government.
At the 2009 Pittsburgh Summit, the Heads of State and Government decided to institutionalize the G20 as the main forum for global economic and financial cooperation.
The G20 Leaders have met every year since 2010.