The governments of the 20 leading economies have formed G20 as the premier forum for the international economic cooperation and decision making of its members. Its membership comprises of 19 countries plus the European Union. The G20 term President invites several guest countries each year.
The G20 leaders meet annually. In addition, Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors meet regularly during the year to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions improve financial regulation and implement the key economic reforms that are needed within the economy of each member. Underpinning these events is a year-long program of meetings among senior officials and working groups coordinating policies on specific issues.
The G20 commenced in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors during the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. In 2008, the first G20 Leaders Summit was held and the group played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis. Its decisive and coordinated actions boosted consumer and business confidence, and supported the first stages of economic recovery.
The G20 is an apt model for global cooperation in the contemporary world. The impact G20 members made when they worked together in response to the global financial crisis sets out a model to work further for development of the economies and achieving sustainable economic growth. The G20 introduced trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus packages worldwide, which saved or created millions of jobs that would have otherwise been destroyed. It also measures in place to limit the collapse of financial markets and helped maintain consumer and business confidence.
The G20 has succeeded to frame the global efforts to restore growth and build the resilience of financial institutions and national economies. It led the world out of an economic crisis and through the initial stages of recovery. In a world, now free from immediate economic crisis, the G20 can increasingly shift its attention to driving practical actions that will lead to sustained global growth.
The global economy continues to produce far less than it would have if the crisis had not occurred. There are tens of millions less jobs and global trade growth is still slower than desired. While always remaining vigilant to risks and vulnerabilities, the G20 is now more focused on improving the future of the global economy.
The G20 is supported by international organizations, including the Financial Stability Board, the International Labor Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. They are invited to attend key G20 meetings along with many other organizations. The G20 also works with its official engagement groups, the B20, C20, L20, T20, W20 and Y20 comprising of representatives from business, civil society, organized labor, academia, women in the business world and the youth.