The Group of Eight club of rich economies is not that relevant anymore and should be broadened to take in emerging powers, France’s Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.
“The G8 is an older institution and is without a doubt a lot less relevant given its makeup and given developments in the world,” Lagarde told reporters in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence where she was attending an economic conference.
Lagarde spoke ahead of the G8 summit opening on Wednesday in L’Aquila, Italy with the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Founded in 1975 as the G7, the club of wealthy countries was broadened to include Russia in 1998. Over the years, host-countries have invited other world leaders to attend the annual gathering, but Lagarde said this was not enough.
“Big players like emerging economies India, China or Mexico are invited, but only for a minor role on the sidelines of the summit,” she said.“The G8 must imperatively be changed and expanded to adapt to the reality of our times,” she added.
The major economic powers came together in London in April as the Group of 20 to agree on a strategy to combat the global downturn.
The G20 club of developed and emerging economies agreed to commit one trillion dollars to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other global bodies to help struggling economies.
The United States will host the next G20 economic crisis summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 24 and 25.