The group of the twenty most important industrialized and emerging countries (G20) is today the most important informal forum for international economic cooperation. Members of the G20 include a total of 19 countries – the G7 states and a further 12 systemically important countries – as well as the European Union and since 2023 the African Union. The chairmanship changes annually. The G20 was founded in 1999 as a forum of finance ministers and central bank governors. In 2008, cooperation in the G20 played a significant role in addressing the global financial crisis. Since then, the G20 has met regularly at the level of heads of state and government, as well as other specialist ministers. 

In the circle of finance ministers and central bank governors, the G20 is primarily concerned with the prevention and management of economic and financial crises, with the promotion of robust, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and with the further development of the international financial architecture, including the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank). 

The G20 is closely networked with international organizations. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank play a key role in providing macroeconomic advice to the G20 and implementing reforms due to their broad economic policy expertise, extensive financial resources and almost universal global membership. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) reports to the G20 on financial regulation issues. This concerns progress in the implementation of agreed reform measures, further risks to the stability of the financial systems and the corresponding need for action. 

The federal government and the Bundesbank are each independent members of the G20 and work closely together. The Bundesbank is also involved in the relevant coordination processes in the EU and the ESCB.

List of chair countries since 2009
  • 2009 United Kingdom
  • 2010 South Korea
  • 2011 France
  • 2012 Mexico
  • 2013 Russia
  • 2014 Australia
  • 2015 Turkey
  • 2016 China
  • 2017 Germany
  • 2018 Argentinia
  • 2019 Japan
  • 2020 Saudi Arabia
  • 2021 Italy
  • 2022 Indonesia
  • 2023 India
  • 2024 Brazil
  • 2025 South Africa
  • 2026 USA