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Find out more about the G20

Germany's G20 Presidency in 2017

On 1 December 2016, Germany assumed the G20 Presidency for one year. The German government chose the slogan "Shaping an interconnected world" for its Presidency. This was based on three thematic pillars:

  • Building resilience
  • Improving sustainability
  • Assuming responsibility

The German Development Ministry (BMZ) played a big part in defining the German G20 agenda, as all three pillars are closely related to development cooperation.

The G20 summit meeting of heads of state and government took place in Hamburg on 7–8 July 2017.

Results in detail

G20 Summit in Hamburg sends clear signal on global challenges

You can download this infographic as a PDF here (352 KB).

Vous trouvez la version française ici (PDF 943 KB).

La versión en español está disponible aquí (940 KB).

A versão em português está disponível aqui (PDF 947 KB).

What is the G20?

The Group of Twenty (G20) is the central forum for international economic cooperation. It comprises the following 19 most advanced industrialised and emerging economies: 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 of America. The European Union is the 20th member.

The BMZ has close cooperation with seven of these countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey).

The G20 nations account for more than 85 per cent of global gross domestic product and three quarters of global trade. They are home to about two thirds of the world's population.

The Group was formed in 1999. Originally, G20 meetings took place at the level of finance ministers and heads of central banks. The primary purpose of the meetings was to improve cooperation on issues related to the international financial system. However, during the economic and financial crisis in 2008 it turned out that in order to successfully deal with crises of such dimensions, coordination at the highest political level was necessary. Thus, G20 meetings have since included summits of heads of state and government.

Traditionally, the annual meetings of G20 heads of state and government have focused on issues relating to world economic growth, international trade and the regulation of financial markets. At their summit in Seoul in 2010, G20 leaders agreed on a global development strategy that focuses on inclusive economic growth as the centrepiece of global poverty reduction. Ever since, development policy has been a topic in its own right on the agenda of the G20 process, with its own working group.

How does the G20 work?

The Group of Twenty is an informal body. Its decisions are politically binding and are followed up mainly through public accountability reports. It has turned out that G20 decisions serve as very strong signals and are able to trigger important reforms at the national and international levels.

The presidency rotates between the G20 members, with presidency terms lasting one year. The country that has the presidency proposes topics to be discussed and is responsible for organising the summit meeting, putting together the agenda and choosing special invitees.

The following guests, among others, were invited to the Hamburg summit on 7 and 8 July 2017:

  • Spain (the country is a permanent guest); Germany also invited the Netherlands, Norway and Singapore to be partner countries in the G20 process.
  • Regional alliances such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the African Union (AU)
  • International organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations (UN). Germany also invited the World Health Organization (WHO) to the summit.

Numerous meetings at ministerial level took place prior to the summit to address specific G20 topics. Ministerial meetings in 2017 brought together ministers of finance, foreign affairs, labour, health, agriculture, and information and technology policy.

The BMZ took part in the preparation of the agenda for the summit. It was the lead ministry for the Development Working Group (DWG) and the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) and chaired both groups during Germany's Presidency.

Dialogue with other groups

The G20 is engaged in a close dialogue with other groups in order to use the ideas and recommendations of important civil society players in its discussions and negotiations.

There are various dialogue fora where international representatives of the private sector (Business20), non-governmental organisations (Civil20), trade unions (Labour20), academia (Science20), think tanks (Think20), women (Women20) and youth (Youth20) have a chance to present their positions and submit proposals to the G20.

Press releases

Further information on the G20



BMZ glossary

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