G20 vs G8
G8 and G20 are two forums between which certain differences can be identified in terms of their establishment, member states, etc. G20 and G8 are abbreviations for forums of industrialized and developed countries of the world. G8 consists of the economically most powerful countries. G20 consists of major economies in the world. Although both consist of economic giants in the world, there are some differences between these two forums. Through this article let us examine these difference between G8 and G20.
What is G8?
G8 is older, coming into existence at the behest of France in 1975. It brought together France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the US (G6). It was then G6, but with Canada joining in 1976, the coalition became G7. Russia joined the group in 1997 making it G8 and since then the coalition is called G8 only. Surprisingly, European Union is considered to be a part of G8 but it cannot host or chair any of the summits organized by G8. Ministers of the member nations meet regularly and discuss matters of mutual interest.
What is G20?
G20 is an informal group consisting of 19 nations and the European Union, thereby bringing the number to 20. It also consists of representatives of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This group came into existence at the suggestion of G7 in 1997 (till then the group was G7 as Russia joined in 1999 to make it G8) to look for solutions to world financial crisis. Since then, every fall, finance ministers of these countries have been holding discussions on issues of global importance.
G20 exerts considerable economic clout globally with these economies making up 85% of the gross national product of the world and 80% of the world trade. Amidst the global financial crisis, the then US President in 2008 suggested that G20 play a greater role in resolving the crisis. Since then, the group has grown in stature and annual summits began to take place. These summits are attended by finance ministers and central bank governors of all the member countries.
Both G8 and G20 are similar in the sense that there is no permanent organizational nature with Presidency revolving among the members. Since the emergence of G20, it has taken over G8 as far as financial matters are concerned but G8 still holds clout as these industrialized nations also discusses other matters such as health, education, trade, energy, pollution, etc.
What is the Difference Between G8 and G20?
Definitions of G8 and G20:
G8: G8 is the spearhead of the most industrialized nations of the world with the group holding considerable clout discussing matters of international importance in its summit.
G20: G20 is a forum or informal group of G8 plus 12 other nations that hold summits to discuss the international financial condition and to suggest ways to remove roadblocks.
Characteristics of G8 and G20:
G8: G8 was founded in 1975.
G20: G20 was founded in 1997.
G8: The member states are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, US, Canada, Russia. However, European Union is considered to be a part of G8 but it cannot host or chair any of the summits organized by G8.
G20: G20 consists of 19 nations and the European Union.
Nature of Member States:
G8: G8 consists of the most economically powerful nations of the world.
G20: G20 consists of major economies of the world.
1.”G8 Summit working session on global and economic issues May 19, 2012” by Official White House Photo by Pete Souza – P051912PS-0361. [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons
2. “Cumbre del G20 en Los Cabos, México” by Gobierno de Chile – Flickr: 180612-07-03-a. [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons