The G20 (see Figure 1) is an inclusive group that aims to represent through its membership both advanced and emerging economies from all regions of the world, irrespective of their political regime. Most of the members are among the largest 20 economies in the world, but not all (e.g. South Africa – the only African member – is not). The G20 members account for more than 80 % of world gross domestic product (GDP), 75 % of global trade and 60 % of the world’s population. By comparison, the G7 countries, an alliance of the largest liberal democratic economies, account for slightly over half of nominal world GDP. There are big disparities among G20 members in terms of GDP, population and wealth (see Figure 2). For example, the four largest members in economic terms China, US, EU, and Japan represent alone two thirds of global GDP. In demographic terms, India and China alone make up more than half of the group’s population.
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