Finally, the G7 (or G8, if you are feeling inclined to include the Russian Federation) have expanded their membership to include those who are most affected by the decisions they take: the developing nations. Permanently including counties like India, China and Brazil, shows forward thinking in terms of addressing the issues that have serious repercussions on most of the world’s population. Furthermore, increased membership shows willingness to admit that these industrialized nations don’t always have the answers, as shown by the policies in place that led to the massive banking meltdown that the world is still reeling from today.

The table gets bigger

The table gets bigger

But what does this expansion really mean for these countries? India in particular had weathered the recession pretty well due to the strong stimulus measures that it introduced late last year but most developing nations have not been so fortunate. A declining growth in GDP (from 6.5% to 1.5% for developing countries across the board) leads to a decline in real capita per income, as any good economics student knows. While this not only screws up India’s stats in terms of its goals of world (economic) domination, it translates into about 90 million people across the world falling below the poverty line. One can argue that this just a matter of semantics, that these people have always been impoverished and the only difference is that they are now classified as being so, but the fact remains that poor people are neither happy nor productive people. This poses a very real problem to not only the economic welfare of developing countries but also to their political stability.

Though it’s great that several developing nations have been allowed to join the exclusive country club that was the G7, unless membership is coupled with a true exchange of ideas, such as taking the appeal to lower protectionism seriously, the G20 will continue on its present path- a truncated United Nations, pretty from the outside without any sort of real power to make change.

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