Collectively, the G-20 economies comprise 85% of global gross national product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world population.
Significantly, this historic move means that Australia, for the first time, will have a permanent seat at the table when key economic matters are discussed by the major powers.
It will also mean that our Prime Minister will continue to have an important role in future deliberations as collaboration on world economic issues is considerably expanded.
After much lobbying, including from that of Mr Rudd, there is now realisation that the global economy requires a greater level of co-operation and regulatory reform.
The utilisation of the G-20 to discuss not only economic and financial issues, but also climate change will make the body even more important over the decades to come.
Not surprisingly, the announcement has been met with approval across the developed world as decisions will now be more representative, reflected by the addition of China, India and Brazil, and the realisation that nations from all continents will be participating. For our nation, it will mean an ongoing ability to shape the direction of an ever changing global economy.
Rod Beisel is Secretary of the Annerley Branch
(Originally published September 2009)