The Group of Twenty (G20) forum of finance ministers and central bank governors provides a mechanism for dialogue on key economic and financial policy issues among systemically significant economies and to promote cooperation to achieve stable and sustainable world growth that benefits all. The G20 first met in Berlin in December 1999, when G7 finance ministers invited counterparts from a number of systemically important countries from regions around the world, as well as representative of the EU, IMF and World Bank. The G20 was intended to compliment the Bretton Woods institutional system.

The G20 was chaired for its first two years by Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin. The initial 18 country members consisted, in addition to the G7, of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. The chair would rotate among participants with two year terms, and with the initial chairs being chosen from among the G-7 countries. One of two unfilled country positions was reserved for Indonesia,

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