BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- The leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) will meet in London on Thursday to discuss measures to tackle the current financial crisis and rescue the global economy.
The following are some basic facts about the G20.
The G20 was initiated at a meeting of G7 finance ministers in Washington, D.C., in September 1999 when the Asian financial crisis had wakened the world's economic powers to the need of incorporating key industrial and emerging market countries into the global economic and financial policy making.
The inaugural meeting of the organization took place in Berlin in December 1999 and was attended by finance ministers and central bank governors from G20 members.
The G20 has a membership comprising 19 countries and a regional bloc, including the G7 nations, namely the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, and Russia, China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey as well as the European Union.
The G20 economies account for more than 80 percent of the global gross national product, about 80 percent of world trade and about two thirds of the world population.
Serving as an unofficial dialogue mechanism under the Bretton Woods System, the G20 operates without a permanent secretariat. Finance ministers and central bank governors of G20 members hold annual meetings with a rotating presidency. Task teams are set up if necessary to tackle major issues.
Apart from the upcoming summit, the G20 last held a summit meeting in November 2008.
China, a founding member of the G20, hosted the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors during its presidency in 2005.