Canada and the G20

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Leaders' summits

A leading global forum

The Group of Twenty (G20) is the primary forum for international economic cooperation among its members, the world's major economies, representing all inhabited continents, 85 percent of global economic output, two-thirds of the world's population, and 75 percent of international trade. The G20 reflects a recognition that global prosperity is interdependent and our economic opportunities and challenges are interlinked.

The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Countries take turns hosting an annual Summit event, which offers an opportunity for discussions outside of a negotiating context, and for a dialogue on matters that will affect policy-making in the near future, including on issues associated with other forums such as the WTO.

G20 policy-making is enriched by the participation of key international organizations (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International Labor Organization, World Trade Organization, United Nations, etc.) who are regularly invited to G20 meetings, guest countries who are invited at the president's discretion, and engagement groups composed of different sectors civil society.


The G20 emerged out of a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors in 1999 in response to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. Originally, its purpose was to bring together finance ministers and central bank governors from advanced and emerging economies to support the stability of financial markets and to promote economic cooperation.

In 2008, amidst the global financial crisis, the world - in particular Canada - saw a need for new consensus-building at the highest political level. The first meeting of G20 leaders took place in November, 2008, in Washington, D.C., immediately following the onset of the global financial crisis. There, leaders agreed to an action plan to stabilize the global economy and prevent future crises. Leaders met a second time in London in April, 2009 where they announced an historic pledge of US$1.1 trillion to restore credit, growth and jobs in the world economy.

Following up on the measures taken in London, G20 leaders met for a third time that same year in Pittsburgh. That summit established the G20 as the “premier forum” for international economic cooperation among participants.

The elevation of the G20 to Leaders’ level provides a new setting for dialogue between advanced and emerging economies, and broadens the range of longer-term economic issues for consideration.  Today, issues with the potential of affecting stability and growth, such as climate, major health challenges, steel excess capacity and e-commerce are also discussed.

How the G20 works

The presidency of the G20 rotates annually among its members.  Summit hosts are responsible for preparing leaders’ summits and for organizing the series of preparatory meetings that advance G20 work throughout the year.

The G20 has no permanent secretariat, and much of the preparation for the summit is completed by G20 leaders’ personal representatives, known as “sherpas.” Sherpas maintain contact with each other during the course of the year to discuss agenda items for the summit and to coordinate the work of the G20.

For 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Sherpa for the G20, leading to the Buenos Aires Summit, is Jonathan Fried, Coordinator International Economic Relations, Global Affairs Canada.

Working groups

Working groups and experts’ groups are established when needed to support the work of leaders, finance ministers, central bank governors and other ministries. These groups are generally co-chaired by one advanced and one emerging economy.

Working groups and experts groups in 2018 include:

Anti-Corruption Working Group

Corruption has been on the G20 Leaders’ agenda since 2009. Effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and transparency in its review process remains a Canadian priority at the ACWG. Agreement on development of a new 3-year G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan this cycle would provide an opportunity to explore differentiated impacts of corruption on vulnerable populations. 

Climate Sustainability Working Group

The CSWG co-chaired by Canada plays an active role in advancing climate priorities through the sharing of best practices and lessons learned, allowing G20 members to learn from each other. Canada has also championed the importance of including a gender perspective in climate change action.

The CSWG provides an opportunity to draw linkages between Canada’s G7 presidency priorities and the G20, including climate change, capacity-building, climate finance, and strategies to meet our climate goals under the Paris Agreement.

Through the Resource Efficiency Dialogue, Canada is working to advance global efforts to address plastic pollution and marine litter. The Ocean Plastics Charter was agreed to by a majority of countries at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in June 2018, and Canada announced that it will invest $100M to support developing countries prevent plastic from entering the oceans and better manage existing plastic resources.

Development Working Group

Canada strongly supports the Argentine G20 Presidency’s development priorities. Building on our G7 presidency,  Canada is focused on helping the poorest and most vulnerable, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Canada supports growth that works for everyone in Sub-Saharan Africa. To reduce poverty, broad-based growth must address the needs of women and girls. Canada has supported the G20 Compact with Africa through our work in Ghana. We have invested $7.5M in a project that aims to stimulate poverty reduction by modernizing local property tax systems, while also increasing women’s participation in decision-making regarding the use of tax revenues.

Digital Economy Task Force

Building upon Germany’s 2017 G20 Roadmap to digitalization, The G20 Argentine presidency has emphasized a positive narrative that articulates the benefits of digitization to citizens and economies. Argentina is looking for progress on key challenges of the digital economy including principles for government to manage digital services, skills for the future of work, developing the infrastructure to support a modern economy, and bridging the digital gender divide.

Canada is focused on the role of people in the digital economy, as expressed in the key themes of our G7 Presidency: digital skills development, public trust in technologies, inclusion and gender equality, with a view to considering how technologies can benefit society, whether it is through artificial intelligence, bringing broadband to rural areas, or supporting small and medium sized businesses in adopting technology.

Education Working Group

Canada is broadly supportive of the Argentine G20 presidency’s priorities of lifelong learning, skills development and training set under both the Education and Employment streams. In particular, Education and skills training are essential for Canada’s economic and social prosperity, and for the well-being of all Canadians. The Government of Canada, in collaboration with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners, is focused on creating a culture of lifelong learning by providing its population with access to the high-quality education and skills needed to reach their life goals. Investing in girls’ education, especially in crisis situations, is a vital part of making that a reality.

Employment Working Group

The Argentine G20 presidency’s priorities of lifelong learning, skills development and training align with Canadian commitments to building a strong, resilient and flexible labour force.  Canada is committed to providing access to skills and training programs to give Canadians from all backgrounds the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. Gender equality must play a key role in creating lasting solutions to global challenges– whether building economies that work for everyone, preparing for jobs of the future, fighting climate change, or advancing peace and security.

Energy Transitions Working Group

The ETWG is working to establish the groundwork for policies on key issues such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, access to affordable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean, the reduction of inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels (IFFS), making information on energy transparent, and the digitalization of energy markets.

As a global leader in the clean growth economy, Canada’s priority is to advance the development of clean and resilient energy systems while supporting economic growth. Canada is also seeking enhanced cooperation among G20 countries on the pressing global issues that must be tackled to support climate change action, energy security, reliability, and affordability. Canada will join Argentina in a peer review of its IFFS. Canada considers that innovative technologies and energy efficiency are integral to this transition.

Finance track

Again this year, Canada is co-chairing the Framework Working Group (FWG) which is developing a menu of policy options to help harness the opportunities and mitigate the employment challenges posed by technological change. Canada also sees Infrastructure Development as one of the key work areas to promote and foster inclusive growth. Within the Infrastructure Working Group (IWG), Canada leads on discussions to create an asset class for infrastructure. Finally, Canada continues to support the International Financial Architecture (IFA) working group’s work on more inclusive IMF quotas; an harmonized approach to changing international tax principles; and multilateral development bank issues.

Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion

Access to financing for women and men living in poverty contributes to their resilience in facing the unexpected and creates opportunities for their employment. Canada seeks to ensure that the policies and programs aimed at increasing financial inclusion contribute to reducing gender differences. Equally, Canada seeks to reduce the costs associated with transferring funds internationally, particularly those sent by migrants to their relatives living in their countries of origin.

Trade and Investment Working Group

Canada supports continuing G20 work to promote and strengthen an inclusive international trade system that contributes to sustainable and shared growth. The G20 is a valuable forum for deepening cooperation on important trade and investment issues, including the challenges and opportunities presented by globalization, innovation, and technological change. Canadian priorities include strengthening consensus on the importance of open, predictable and rules-based trade, and further advancing Canada’s progressive trade agenda.

Engagement groups

G20 members are committed to consultation with relevant stakeholder communities. The G20 establishment of engagement groups, comprising participants from each G20 member, provides a vehicle for such dialogue. They meet to discuss key issues affecting areas of interest, and traditionally draft recommendations to the G20 governments to reflect the group’s position. While these recommendations are non-binding, they are taken into account by the G20 for its discussions, and thus contribute to the policymaking process. In 2017 for example, Canada embraced key elements of Canadian stakeholders’ output on, and ensured recognition of the challenge of, drug-resistant tuberculosis, as well as concerning the issue of steel and aluminum excess capacity.

Seven formal engagement groups have been established to advise and inform the G20’s decisions: Business 20 (B20), Civil Society 20 (C20), Labour 20 (L20), Science 20 (S20), Think 20 (T20), Women 20 (W20) and Youth 20 (Y20). Each engagement group is chaired by organizations or individuals formally designated by the G20 host country.

Chair: M. Daniel Funes de Rioja
Organizing Groups: The Group of Six, the leading Argentinian business associations, namely ADEBA, BCBA, CACS, CAMARCO, SRA and UIA
For more information:

Chair: M. Pablo Secchi
Vice-Chair: M. Guillermo Correa
Organizing Groups: 
Poder Ciudadano ( and RACI (
For more information:

Chair: M. Gerardo Martinez
Organizing Groups: 
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) (
Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD (
For more information:

Co-Chair: Dr. Roberto J. J. Williams
Co-Chair: Dr. Alejandro Vila
Organizing Groups: 
The National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences (ANCEFN) (
The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Rosario (

Co-Chair: M. Adalberto Rodríguez
Co-Chair: M. Jorge Mandelbaum
Organizing Groups: 
Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales - CARI (
Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento - CIPPEC (
For more information :

Chair: Ms. Susana Balbo
Co-Chair: Ms. Andrea Grobocopatel
For more information:

Chair: Ms. Agustín Batto Carol
Vice-Chair: Ms. Eliana Vidal
Organizing Groups: 
EIDOS Foundation (
For more information:

Text version
  • Members
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Brazil
    • Canada
    • China
    • European Union (EU)
    • Germany
    • France
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Mexico
    • Russia
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • South Korea
    • Turkey
    • United Kingdom
    • United States of America
  • Guests
    • Chile
    • Spain
    • Netherlands

The Future of Work

This year the Argentine G20 Presidency has proposed that G20 countries discuss a coordinated approach to the rapid technological change that is presenting new opportunities and challenges to the economy and the way we work, that is inclusive and fair for all.

For Canada, these technological trends will be the main driver of growth and productivity, but will also have a transformative effect on the way Canadians work. As a result, Canada gives priority to ensuring that our citizens can adapt to, and benefit from technological change by focusing on skills, education, strengthening social safety nets and ensuring decent work, with particular emphasis on gender.

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Infrastructure for Development

For Argentina, investment in infrastructure is seen as essential for boosting growth and productivity; channelling new investments into public infrastructure, efficient transportation services, basic sanitation, energy flows and digital connectivity will help to connect citizens with the world and make it easier for them to participate in the economy of tomorrow.

Canada, as Argentina, views investment in infrastructure as helping to foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Canada has placed infrastructure investments at the core of its domestic economic agenda with the establishment of the new Canada Infrastructure Bank. In 2017, Canada also confirmed the creation of a new Development Finance Institution to seek innovative financing approaches to support sustainable development abroad.

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A Sustainable Food Future

As a key player in the global food system, the Argentine Presidency has proposed that G20 countries discuss ways to promote healthy, fertile and productive soils to improve food security and human health, in addition to discussion on sustainable soil management.

For Canada, in addition to the contribution better soil management makes to nutrition, food security and health in a development context, supporting the agriculture sector in adjusting to climate change and better addressing water and soil conservation issues are top priorities.  A well-functioning agriculture and agri-food value chain facilitates trade and investment as well in a sector that is a key area of economic growth and job creation.

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