The G20

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One of the world's most powerful groups is the G20, or Group of Twenty.

Technically, the G20 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 G20 are these:
    G20 logo
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States.
In addition, the European Union has member status.

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 G20 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 G20 Summit, which features more political than economics meetings.

The G20 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.

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