The G20, also known as the Group of Twenty, is an international forum comprised of 19 countries1 and the European Union (EU). It was formed in 1999 in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis (1997–98) as an informal forum to bring together finance ministers and central bank governors of developed and developing economies. It was upgraded to involve the head of states’ in 20082 in the wake of the global financial crisis. 

The G20 Presidency rotates annually within a troika system, constituting the present, immediate past, and next host countries. On 1 December 2022, India assumed the G20 Presidency;3 the other two troika members are Indonesia (past) and Brazil (next). The theme of India’s G20 Presidency is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One Earth, One Family, One Future), and it spotlights the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) Movement.4 G20 Summits consist of two parallel tracks: the Finance Track and Sherpa Track.

Finance Track 

Finance ministers and central bank governors lead the Finance Track, which focuses on fiscal and monetary policy issues. Dedicated working groups and workstreams delve into the global economy, infrastructure, financial regulation, financial architecture, and international taxation. The Finance Track has the following working groups5 and workstreams:

  • Framework working group (FWG)
  • International financial architecture (IFA) working group
  • Infrastructure working group (IWG)
  • Sustainable finance working group (SFWG)
  • Global Partnership for financial inclusion (GPFI)
  • Joint Finance and health task force (JFHTF)
  • International Taxation
  • Financial sector issues

The SFWG and JFHTF were established recently, in 2021, under Italy’s G20 Presidency. The debt service suspension initiative (DSSI), a common framework for debt treatments beyond the DSSI and G20 sustainable finance roadmap, are some of the key successes of the Finance Track convening.

Sherpa Track

The Sherpa Track is led by representatives of heads of state, and it focuses on socio-economic issues such as agriculture, anti-corruption, climate, digital economy, education, employment, energy, environment, health, tourism, trade, and investment. The working groups4 under this track include:

  • Agriculture working group 
  • Anti-corruption working group 
  • Culture working group
  • Development working group
  • Digital economy working group
  • Disaster risk reduction working group
  • Education working group
  • Employment working group
  • Energy transitions working group
  • Environment deputies meeting and climate sustainability working group 
  • Health working group
  • Tourism working group
  • Trade and Investment working group

The energy transitions working group was created in 2018 under Argentina’s G20 Presidency to focus on energy security, energy efficiency, renewable energy, accessibility and affordability, innovation, technology, and financing.

Engagement Groups

In addition to the Finance Track and Sherpa Track, there are Engagement Groups. These include non-government participants such as civil societies, parliamentarians, think tanks, women, youth, labour, businesses, and researchers from each G20 member. These Engagement Groups provide recommendations to the G20 leaders, contributing to the policy-making process. The Engagement Groups4 are as follows:

  • Business20
  • Civil20
  • Labour20
  • Parliament20
  • Science20
  • Supreme audit institutions 20 (SAI20)
  • Startup20
  • Think20
  • Urban20
  • Women20
  • Youth20

Who should care?



International organisations


  • [1] The members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.
  • [2] G20. “About G20”.
  • [3] The guest countries include Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the UAE. The guest international organisations include the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • [4] PIB. "G-20 and India’s Presidency", Press Information Bureau, 10 December 2022.
  • [5] GOI. "G20 – Background Brief", Government of India, 6 March 2023.

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Ruchita Shah
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