Explained: Who are the G7, including the Summit in Germany to which India was invited?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Germany to attend the Group of Seven (G7) Summit at Schloss Elmau, a century-old retreat in a nature reserve in the Bavarian Alps. The Prime Minister is expected to speak at two sessions focusing on the environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality and democracy, among others, the External Affairs Ministry announced earlier this week. He will also hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of some of the participating countries.

Group of 7

The G7 is an informal forum of major industrialized countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. European Union representatives are always present at the annual meeting of G7 Heads of State and Government. Germany holds the presidency of the G7 in 2022.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has invited India, as well as Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa to the 2022 Summit as partner countries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will participate virtually on June 27, the G7 Presidency announced.

A number of international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, are also participating in the Summit. .

G6, G8, G7

A brief history of the group on the G7 Germany site indicates that the first “World Economic Summit”, which later became the G7, was launched in 1975 by former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and then Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The heads of state and government of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan and the United States – a Group of Six – gathered for a fireside chat at the castle of Rambouillet in France.

The participants exchanged ideas on the economic problems of the 1970s – the first oil crisis and the collapse of the system of fixed exchange rates (Bretton Woods) – and agreed on international economic policy and the first measures to fight the global recession.

In 1976 Canada was added to the group and the first G7 met in Puerto Rico. The first talks between the then European Community and the G7 took place in London in 1977, and since the Ottawa summit of 1981, the European Community (now the European Union) has participated in all work.

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In the 1980s, the interest of the G7 broadened to include foreign and security policy issues. The then Soviet Secretary General, Mikhail Gorbachev, was invited to talks on the sidelines of the London summit in 1991. In 1998, the Group of Eight was formed with Russia joining. Russia was expelled from the group after violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in 2014.

Germany is taking over the G7 Presidency for the seventh time this year. Japan will be president in 2023.

G7 numbers

In 2022, G7 countries account for 10% of the world’s population, 31% of global GDP and 21% of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Summit’s website. China and India, the two most populous countries with the highest GDP figures in the world, are not part of the group.

In all G7 countries, annual public sector spending exceeded revenue in 2021. Most G7 countries also had high levels of gross debt, particularly Japan (263% of GDP), Italy ( 151%) and the United States (133%).

The G7 countries are important players in world trade. The United States and Germany, in particular, are important exporting countries. The two have sold goods worth more than US$1 trillion overseas in 2021.

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