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Backgrounder: Basic facts about Group of 20

2009-09-24 15:18 BJT

Special Report: Global Financial Crisis |

Special Report: Hu attends UN, G20 Summits |

BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Group of 20 (G20) summit, which opens Thursday in Pittsburg, the United States, will focus on measures to tackle the current financial crisis. It will be the third gathering of G20 leaders since the outbreak of the crisis a year ago.

The following are some basic facts about the G20.

The G20 was initiated at a meeting of G7 finance ministers in Washington D.C., in September 1999 when the Asian financial crisis had wakened the world's economic powers to the need of incorporating key industrial and emerging market countries into the global economic and financial policy making.

The inaugural meeting of the organization took place in Berlin in December 1999 and was attended by finance ministers and central bank governors from G20 members.

The G20 has a membership comprising 19 countries and a regional bloc, including the G7 nations, namely, the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada, and Russia, China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey as well as the European Union.

The G20 nations, with two thirds of the world's population, account for more than 80 percent of its economic output and about 80 percent of global trade.