G8 (Group of 8)

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    The G8, or the Group of 8, acts as a forum for discussions for the 8 largest industrialised nations in the world.

    The current G8 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia.

    The presidency of the group rotates every year to be held in turn by one of the member states. The holder of the presidency sets the agenda, hosts the summit, and schedules and determines the ministerial meetings.

    The G8 is understood to be an international network rather than an organisation; it does not have an administrative structure. The meetings are informal to provide a relaxed environment for the discussion of global topics and issues.

    The heads of government of the G8 states come together at the annual G8 summit and there are continual consultations between the members, in line with the G8 process. There are also separate meetings with countries outside the G8, for example the G8+5, which includes the so-called “outreach” countries – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, all of which are BRICS states except Mexico.

    The range of topics includes health, law enforcement, labour, economic and social development, energy, environment, foreign affairs, terrorism and trade.

    Composition

    CountryInhabitants in millionsInhabitants in %GDP in billions (US$)GDP in %
    World7,00010054,620100
    USA304.04.513,84025.3
    Japan127.21.94,3848.0
    Germany82.41.33,3226.0
    United Kingdom61.00.92,7735.1
    France64.01.02,5604.7
    Italy60.30.92,1053.9
    Canada33.20.51,4322.6
    Russia140.72.11,2902.4
    G8872.813.131,70658