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Special> G20 London Summit> Background
UPDATED: April 1, 2009
Basic facts about G20

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 (G20) will meet in Horsham, Britain, on Saturday to prepare for the G20 summit scheduled for April 2.

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. The G7 decided to incorporate key industrial and emerging market countries into the global economic and financial policy-making.

The inaugural meeting of the G20 took place in Berlin in December 1999, which 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 United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, Russia, the European Union, China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

The G20 economies account for over 80 percent of the global gross national product (GDP), about 80 percent of world trade and some two thirds of the world population.

Serving as a unofficial dialogue mechanism under the Bretton Woods System, the G20 operates without a permanent secretariat. Finance ministers and central bank governors of G20 members hold annual meetings with a rotating presidency. Task teams are set up if necessary to tackle major issues.

Apart from the upcoming summit, the G20 held a summit meeting in November 2008.

China, a founding member of the G20, hosted the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors during its presidency in 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2009)

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