Group of Eight (G-8)
Groupe des huit
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Derives from informal meetings of finance ministers arranged by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing of France and Helmut Schmidt of Germany in the early 1970s. When they became heads of government - respectively President of France and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany - they decided to invite the heads of government of other "most industrialized countries" - Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and USA - to join the meetings, the first such being Nov 1975, Rambouillet (France). Canada was included at meetings from Jun 1976, from which time the Groups was referred to as F-XJ4647 - Group of Seven (G-7). The President of the then Commission of the European Communities (currently European Commission) was invited as an observer for the first time in 1978. Russia was included from 1997, since when the Group met under current title - or Group of 8 -- Groupe des 8 - when dealing with non-financial matters. Russia became full member during the Summit meeting in 2002. When finance ministers of Canada, Italy and Russia are not present, the Group is referred to as F-XF2680 - Group of Five (G-5). Meetings together with the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland comprise H-XF1004 - Group of Ten (G-10). A wider and more representative H-XF4647 - Group of Twenty-Two (G-22) has been proposed by the USA and some other members.
The titles are not official, simply an informal description, originally for occasional meetings of ministers of finance of the most industrialized countries as described above and subsequently also of the summits of the heads of state and government of these countries. The latter meetings were also referred to as: Seven-Power Summit -- Sommet des sept; Summit of the Seven Most Industrialized Countries -- Sommet des sept pays les plus industrialisés. Summits including Russia are also referred to as: Summit of the Most Industrialized Countries -- Sommet des pays les plus industrialisés; Summit of the Eight Most Industrialized Countries -- Sommet des huit pays les plus industrialisés; The Eight -- Les huit. Sometimes formal economic preparations for the summit are made at ministerial sessions of C-XC3023 - OECD.
The Plaza Agreement, 22 Sep 1985, covers plans to achieve more balanced growth and bring exchange rates into line with underlying fundamentals. The Louvre Accord, Feb 1987, covers maintenance of currency stability.
Exchange information and options and establish a rapport with each other; set the international agenda for the year ahead; focus economic policy and force decisions. As indicated in the Plaza Agreement: while recognizing progress in promoting convergence of favourable economic performance among participating countries, seek to achieve increased and more balanced growth and bring key exchange rates more into line with underlying fundamentals. As indicated in the Louvre Accord: coordinate activities of finance ministers so that currency stability may be maintained.
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