South-Western College Publishing - Economics  
Anybody For a Group of Fifteen?
Topic International Trade
Key Words Group of 5, Group of 7, Group of 8
News Story What started out as a Group of 5 major industrial countries in early 1975 has grown to a Group of Seven. The Group of 7 major industrial nations, formed in 1976, includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries meet periodically to address international economic and monetary issues. The group grew over time as other countries became major players in international trade. Starting this year, it will be called the Group of 8 as the nations converge this summer. G-8 is considered to be global policy making at its highest level. G-8 includes G-7 plus Russia, which, although not a full member, has attended since 1994 not so much for its economic power, but because of its political importance. Now its economic power is also coming to the fore: Russia has huge natural gas reserves. Natural gas has become a global commodity of geopolitical importance. World gas consumption is projected to more than double over the next three decades, with gas surpassing coal as the world's number two energy source.

As countries around the world develop and gain economic prominence, this group of major industrial countries is likely to change again. Take China, for example: China's economy is growing at a record breaking pace each time new statistics are available. The result is growing economic power around the world. Anyone for a Group of Nine?

Discussion Questions:
1. Why was Russia added to create the Group of 8?
2. Visit and summarize the evolution of the summit process.
Multiple Choice/True False Questions:
1. Which of the following is not a full member of the Group of 7?
  1. Italy.
  2. Canada.
  3. Russia.
  4. Germany
2. Which two countries were added to the Group of 5 to create the Group of 7?
  1. France and Italy.
  2. Germany and Italy.
  3. Canada and Germany.
  4. Italy and Canada.
Source Floyd Norris, "Without Being in the Room, a Far East Behemoth Will Be a Player", The New York Times Online, June 17, 2006.
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