Watch: Understanding the work of the G20 and B20

G20 Group of 20 global map Members of the Group of 20 major global economies are represented in blue. Members of the European Union not individually represented are in turquoise, and EU members that are permanent guests of the G20 in lilac. (Image: Adapted from Wikipedia)


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Staff writer

From 15 to 16 November South Africa will join 19 other major developed and emerging economies for the annual Group of 20, or G20, summit to discuss ways to boost global growth. The summit will include perspectives from the international business leaders who make up the Business 20, or B20.

Together, the G20 nations represent 90% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population. The group was set up in 2009 to help global economies respond to the financial crisis of 2008. It is a more inclusive forum, operating alongside the G8 group of the world’s eight most industrialised economies. South Africa is the only African member of the G20.

The G20 has set the ambitious target of lifting collective GDP by 2% of expectations over the next five years, and creating millions of new jobs. To meet these targets, the B20 brings together business leaders from around the world to provide practical commercial perspectives to the G20, and generate ideas for growth.

This year, the B20 has come up with four broad recommendations for boosting global economic growth. These are:

  • Structural flexibility, continuous structural reform to keep up with constantly evolving economies
  • Free movement across borders of goods, services, labour and capital, for a more efficient and truly global economy
  • Consistent and effective regulation, because regulation has either the power to constrict markets when it is poor, or to enhance them when it is good
  • Integrity and credibility in commerce, because corruption massively retards economic growth by destroying productive efficiency

It is estimated that implementing the B20’s trade recommendations alone would increase global GDP by US$3.4-trillion, and create more than 50-million trade-related jobs. That’s the equivalent of adding a country the size of Germany to the global economy.

The recommendations on infrastructure and investment may go further, increasing global GDP by $6-trillion and creating 100-million jobs over the long term.

Most importantly, according to the G20, the countries that implement these reforms would deliver higher standards of living to their people, with better health, education and security. In poorer countries, the reforms could help lift millions of people out of poverty.

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The individual members of the G20 are:

1. Argentina
2. Australia
3. Brazil
4. Canada
5. China
6. France
7. Germany
8. India
9. Indonesia
10. Italy
11. Japan
12. South Korea
13. Mexico
14. Russia
15. Saudi Arabia
16. South Africa
17. Turkey
18. United Kingdom
19. United States
20. European Union