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Finance Minister Paul Martin Chosen as Inaugural Chairperson of New Group of Twenty

Washington, DC, 25 September, 1999

Finance ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) have chosen Finance Minister Paul Martin to be the first Chairperson of the Group of Twenty (G20), a new international forum consisting of finance ministers and central bank governors representing 18 countries, the European Union and the Bretton Woods Institutions.

The G20 will be a forum for informal dialogue among a group of countries representing both developed and emerging economies from every region of the globe. Its purpose is to ensure broader participation in discussions on international financial affairs among countries whose size or strategic importance gives them a particularly crucial role in the global economy. Accordingly, the membership will include all G-7 countries plus several key emerging markets.

"The G20’s work will focus on translating the benefits of globalization into higher incomes and better opportunities for people everywhere," said Minister Martin. "Its creation responds to Canada’s calls for a more inclusive and representative forum to help accomplish these goals."

The Minister, whose term as Chairperson will last two years, also emphasized the importance of a flexible and comprehensive mandate. "There is virtually no major aspect of the global economy or international financial system that will be outside of the group’s purview," he added.

The G20 ministerial gatherings will occur annually with the first meeting scheduled for Berlin, Germany, in December 1999. Canada will host the second meeting in 2000.

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the President of the World Bank will participate fully in substantive discussions, as will the Chairpersons of the Interim Committee and Development Committee of the IMF and World Bank.

The creation of the G20 responds to the G7 Finance Ministers’ Report to Heads on Strengthening the International Financial Architecture, which was endorsed by G7 leaders at the Köln Summit in June 1999.

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Source: Department of Finance, Canada
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