Backgrounder: G20 and its summits

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-06 10:09:00|Editor: Song Lifang
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HAMBURG, Germany, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The 12th Group of 20 (G20) Summit is to be held from Friday to Saturday here in the northern German city of Hamburg. Here is a brief introduction to the group and its summits.

Created in 1999, the G20 is a central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues. It comprises 19 countries plus the EU. The countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The group, home to almost two-thirds of the world's population, accounts for more than 80 percent of gross world product and 75 percent of global trade.

In 2008, against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, the meetings of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors were raised to the level of heads of state and government for better crisis coordination, with the first summit being held in Washington, the United States in the same year.

As an informal forum, the G20 does not have an administrative council or permanent body. Instead, G20 countries take turns to assume presidency and host the summit.

As the host of this year's summit, Germany took over the presidency from China on Dec. 1, 2016. After Germany, Argentina will take over the presidency and organize the summit in 2018 -- the second time a G20 summit to be held in Latin America following the 2012 Los Cabos Summit in Mexico.

Altogether, a total of 11 G20 summits have been held since 2008. G20 leaders met twice in London and Pittsburgh in 2009, and Toronto and Seoul in 2010. Starting from 2011, the summits have been held once a year in the following places: Cannes, Los Cabos, St Petersburg, Brisbane, Antalya, and Hangzhou.

Tackling economic recession, regulating international financial market, combating tax evasion, and boosting development policy have been some of the main topics of these summits.

Themed "Shaping an Interconnected World," the Hamburg summit will focus on such topics as economic, financial, trade, climate, and development policy. Other issues like digital technology, migration, and counter-terrorism will also be discussed.