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Canada and the G20

The Group of Twenty (G20) is a group of the world's major economies. The G20 represents all inhabited continents, 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the world's population.

Services and information

Overview and membership

Overview of G20 membership.

Our participation

Overview of Canada’s engagement and priorities in the G20.

Work process

Overview of the structure and work streams of the G20.

Official documents

Official documents from current and past G20 meetings.

Overview and membership

The G20 is the primary forum for international economic cooperation among its members. G20 members are the world's major economies. They represent all inhabited continents, 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the world's population. G20 members recognize that global prosperity and economic opportunities and challenges are interlinked.

The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union. The 20 members are:

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

Our participation

For Canada, the G20 is an important platform to influence global economic, financial, and trade policy issues. Canada’s participation provides an opportunity to build consensus with members on matters related to economic stability and growth in Canada and globally. This includes supporting sustainable growth through support for the international financial architecture and open, rules-based trade and investment.

At the G20, Canada continues to:

  • promote the importance of economic opportunity for all of our citizens, including women and youth;
  • reinforce our commitment to rules-based trade; and,
  • call for ambitious action on climate.

As part of this leadership, Canada is also working towards equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics is a core deliverable of the G20’s efforts.

Work process

The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among its members. Summit hosts are responsible for preparing leaders’ summits during their presidency. Summit hosts also organize a series of preparatory meetings that advance G20 work throughout the year.

The G20 has no permanent secretariat. Much of the preparation for the summit is completed by G20 leaders’ personal representatives, known as sherpas. With finance ministers and their deputies, sherpas are a recurring feature of summits. These officials stay in contact with each other during the course of the year. They discuss agenda items for the summit and coordinate the work of the G20.

The work of the G20 culminates each cycle with a communiqué expressing members’ commitments and vision for the future. Chosen recommendations and deliverables from ministerial meetings and other work streams also reach sherpas and deputies of finance ministers. Ministerial recommendations and deliverable are also incorporated in the communiqué for leaders’ endorsements.

Canada’s Personal Representative to the Prime Minister for the G20 Summit (Sherpa) is Christopher MacLennan.

Work streams and ministerial meetings

The G20 working process changes from year to year. Ministerial meetings, working groups, and other experts’ groups are added or removed by the presidency. This depends on the priority areas the host wishes to introduce to augment or adjust the agenda. The number of key work streams, or tracks, that will be active each year is determined by the host. Relevant ministers and/or their experts manage each of these work streams.

Working group meetings are often co-chaired by one advanced and one emerging economy. These meetings take place to provide specific knowledge and recommendations. Working groups also develop deliverables for ministers. Some of these deliverables reach leaders via their personal representatives (sherpas). Leaders are also informed by meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors.

G20 policy-making is also supported by the participation of key international organizations that are invited to G20 meetings. For example:

  • World Bank Group
  • International Monetary Fund
  • International Labour Organization
  • World Trade Organization
  • United Nations

Policy making is also supported by the participation of guest countries (invited at the host’s discretion), and engagement groups comprising different sectors of civil society.

Engagement groups

G20 members have made a commitment to consult relevant stakeholder communities. The G20 establishment of engagement groups, comprising participants from each G20 member, provides a vehicle for such dialogue. Engagement groups meet to discuss key issues in their area of interest. These groups often draft recommendations to G20 governments. While these recommendations are non-binding, they are taken into account by the G20 and contribute to the policy-making process.

There are currently eight formal engagement groups. Each engagement group is chaired by organizations or individuals designated by the G20 host country:

  • Business20
  • Civil20
  • Labour20
  • Science20
  • Think20
  • Women20
  • Youth20

The G20 also has two informal engagement groups:

  • G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance
  • G(irls)20

For more information on engagement groups, please visit the official G20 website.

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