From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : G7, G12, G20
Mains level : G7
PM Modi will fly to the Germany as a special invitee to the meeting of G-7 countries.
Group of 7
- The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.
- Initially, it was formed as an effort by the US and its allies to discuss economic issues.
- The G-7 forum now discusses several challenges such as oil prices and many pressing issues such as financial crises, terrorism, arms control, and drug trafficking.
- It does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.
- Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.
Evolution of the G-7
- When it started in 1975—with six members, Canada joining a year later—it represented about 70% of the world economy.
- And it was a cosy club for tackling issues such as the response to oil shocks.
- Now it accounts for about 40% of global GDP.
- Since the global financial crisis of 2007-09 it has sometimes been overshadowed by the broader G20.
- The G-7 became the G-8 in 1997 when Russia was invited to join.
Why was Russia expelled?
- The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997.
- The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
- Since his election in 2016, President Trump has suggested on several occasions that Russia be added again, given what he described as Moscow’s global strategic importance.
Why in news now?
- New Delhi is preparing for more pressure from the G-7 countries.
- These countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and the EU) have unitedly imposed sanctions on Russia since it invaded Ukraine.
- They want India to cooperate in restricting its purchase of Russian oil, not circumvent the sanctions by using a rupee-rouble mechanism.
- It also wants India to lift the ban on the export of wheat.
Relevance of G7 for India
- India will get more voice, more influence and more power by entering the G7.
- After UN Security Council (UNSC), this is the most influential grouping.
- If the group is expanded it will collectively address certain humongous issues in the global order.
- Diplomatically, a seat at the high table could help New Delhi further its security and foreign policy interests, especially at the nuclear club and UNSC reforms.
- It will further protect its interests in the Indian Ocean.
Challenges for India’s entry
- The decision to expand the grouping cannot be taken by the US alone.
- There needs to be a consensus.
- However, a special invitation to India is no mean achievement.