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The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members' international economic cooperation and decision-making. It comprises 19 countries plus the European Union. G20 leaders meet annually; additionally, during the year,Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet regularly to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions, improve financial regulation, and discuss the key economic reforms that are needed in each of the member countries. Underpinning these meetings is a year-long programme of meetings between senior officials and of working groups coordinating policy on specific issues.
The G20 started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in 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. G20 leaders have met eight times since 2008
The G20 Summit continues to focus on measures to support global economic growth, with a strong emphasis on promoting job creation and open trade. Each G20 President invites a number of guest countries each year.
The G20 works closely with international organizations including the Financial Stability Board, the International Labour Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. These and a number of other organisations are invited to attend key G20 meetings.
G20 members represent around 85 per cent of global gross domestic product, over 75 per cent of global trade, and two-thirds of the world's population.
The members of the G20 are:
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, European Union.
The G20 Presidency rotates annually according to a system that ensures a regional balance over time. Reflecting its nature as an informal political forum, the G20 does not have a permanent secretariat. Instead, the G20 President is responsible for bringing together the G20 agenda in consultation with other members and in response to developments in the global economy.
To ensure continuity, the Presidency is supported by a "troika" made up of the current, immediate past and future host countries.
In 2014 the G20 Presidency is held by G20 Australia. During Australia's host year, the members of the G20 troika are Australia, Russia and Turkey.
Source: G20 Australia: http://www.g20.org/about_G20