Guest blog - What is the G20?

Guest blog by Chris Atkins: Celebrating 25 years of helping over 2000 companies be seen as change-makers for the G7, G20, B20, W20, and APEC Summits. President and Founder the CAT Co- Connecting Business, Government and Civil Society for 25 years. Originally published here.  

The G20 is a strategic multilateral platform connecting the world’s major developed and emerging economies. The G20 holds a strategic role in securing future global economic growth and prosperity. Together, the G20 members represent more than 80 percent of world GDP, 75 percent of international trade, and 60 percent of the world population. 

Starting in 1999 as a meeting for the finance minister and central bank governors, the G20 has evolved into a yearly summit involving the Head of State and Government. In addition to that, the Sherpa meetings (in charge of carrying out negotiations and building consensus among Leaders), working groups, and special events are also organized throughout the year.

The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among its members, with the country that holds the presidency working together with its predecessor and successor, also known as Troika, to ensure the continuity of the agenda. Currently, Italy, Indonesia, and India are the Troika countries.

The G20 has no permanent secretariat. Agenda and the work coordination are completed by G20 leaders’ personal representatives, known as sherpas together with finance ministers and central bank governors.

The pinnacle of the G20 work in each cycle is a communiqué expressing members’ commitments and vision for the future, drafted from the chosen recommendations and deliverables from ministerial meetings and other workstreams.

The G20 was formed in 1999 with the aim of discussing policies in order to achieve international financial stability. This forum was formed as an effort to find a solution to the global economic conditions hit by the global financial crisis in 1997-1999 by involving middle-income countries and having systemic economic influence, including Indonesia.

On the advice of the G7 Finance Ministers, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors began holding meetings to discuss the response to the global financial crisis that occurred. After that, the Minister of Finance level meeting is held regularly in the fall.

Nine years later, on November 14-15 2008, the leaders of the G20 countries gathered for the first G20 Summit. On that occasion, the country’s leaders coordinated the global response to the impact of the financial crisis that occurred in the US at that time and agreed to hold a follow-up meeting.

To prepare for the annual summit, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, together with Sherpas meet several times a year.

Recognition of the importance of collective action and inclusive collaboration among major developed countries and emerging economies around the world has always been the core purpose of the G20.

Today, the world needs it more than ever. The global pandemic has affected every aspect of society, from health, education, to international trade. At the same time, gaps in countries’ capacities to address the crisis continue to prevent the world from fully controlling the common problems and crises facing us right now.

Understanding the challenges and the need for collective action, Indonesia will focus on three main pillars for its G20 2022 Presidency namely: Global Health Architecture, Sustainable Energy Transition, and Digital Transformation. Through these pillars, Indonesia will continue to take the lead on ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, promoting sustainable and inclusive economic development through MSMEs participation and the digital economy. While also maintaining the aspiration to continue to improve our collective capacity in securing the shared prosperity among nations, through various reform efforts in global taxation, stronger cooperation in fighting corruption, deepening of infrastructure financing, and pushing for a more democratic, and representative international cooperation.


The 17th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit will take place on in15-16 November 2022 in Bali. The Summit will be the pinnacle of the G20 process and intense work carried out within the Ministerial Meetings, Working Groups, and Engagement Groups throughout the year.


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