Backgrounder: G20 and its summits

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26 15:53:36|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend a virtual summit of the Group of 20 (G20) leaders on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing Thursday.

The summit will be hosted by Saudi Arabia, the G20 Presidency in 2020. Here is a brief introduction of the group and its summits.

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

The group, home to almost two-thirds of the world's population, accounts for about 86 percent of the 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.

Altogether, a total of 14 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, Hangzhou, Hamburg, Buenos Aires and Osaka.

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