The G-20

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One of the world's most powerful groups is the G-20, or Group of Twenty.

Technically, the G-20 is made up of economic and political representatives of 19 of the world's richest countries. (The 20th member is the European Union.)

The countries that make up the G-20 are these:
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Russia
  • Saudia Arabia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States.

Finance ministers (treasury secretaries) and heads of the central bank of these countries meet once a year to discuss matters of international finance, often making agreements on trade, currency exchange, and the like.

Also attending these summits are high-powered representatives of international economic organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

These meetings have taken place since 1999, when the G-20 was formed in response to a large financial crisis in Asia.

Since 2008, most of the heads of state of those countries (including the Council President and Commission President of the EU) make an effort to attend what is called the G-20 Summit, which features more political than economics meetings.

The G-20 Summit is a relatively new meeting. It began with a meeting in November 2008 in Washington, D.C., and then became twice-a-year summits for 2009 and 2010 (London, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.; Toronto, Seoul) but is (as of 2011) an annual event. The 2013 Summit will take place in Russia, and Australia will play host to the 2014 event.

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