- The G7 is an intergovernmental association made up of countries that have the world's biggest, most developed economies.
- The G7 was previously called the G8, until Russia was expelled from the group.
- The G7 does not include some of the world's biggest economies, such as China, Brazil, and India.
The G7 stands for Group of 7. It is an intergovernmental organization of the 7 largest industrialized economies in the world. The members of the G7 are the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The leaders of the member countries meet periodically, mainly to discuss economic and monetary issues, though they also tackle political issues at times. The G7 was once called the G8, as it included Russia. But in 2014, Russia was expelled from the organization for its annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, which the other member countries viewed as illegal.
Canada has the 10th largest economy in the world, valued at around $U.S. 1.74 trillion as of 2019. Much of Canada’s economy depends on its natural resources. It has, for example, a well-established energy sector, and has the third largest proven oil reserves in the world. It is no surprise, then, that mineral fuels, including oil, are Canada’s leading export. In 2020, oil and other mineral fuels accounted for 17% of the country’s exports. Canada is also a leader in automobile production. Indeed, in 2020, exports of automobiles made in Canada comprised 11% of the country’s total exports, making automobiles the country’s second leading export. Machinery and technology exports, such as computers, is Canada’s third leading export. Canada’s other leading exports include ores, wood, electrical machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastics, aircraft, and aerospace products. Popular Canadian companies include Bombardier, McCain Foods, and Shoppers Drugmart. The Canadian economy is heavily dependent on the U.S. In fact, three quarters of Canada’s annual exports go to the U.S.
Italy has the world’s 8th largest economy. Its economy is valued at approximately U.S.$2 trillion. Italy’s top export is machinery, including computers. Its second biggest exports is automobiles. Several famous automobile brands are Italian in origin, including Fiat, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati. Examples of Italy’s other exports include pharmaceuticals, plastic products, iron and steel products, and clothing, which includes world-famous Italian brands like Versace, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, and Prada.
France has the world’s 7th largest economy. In 2019, France’s total GDP was an estimated U.S.$ 2.72 trillion. The country’s leading export is machinery, including computers. Its second biggest export is automobiles. French automobile brands include Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Alpine, and Bugatti. France is also famous for its wine and spirits exports. All champagne, for example, comes from the French region of the same name. In addition, many cosmetic brands come from France, including Vichy, Nuxe, Yves-Rocher, and Bioderma.
The economy of the United Kingdom is valued at U.S.$2.83 trillion, based on 2019 statistics, making it the world’s 6th largest economy. The country’s leading export is machinery, including computers. Other leading exports from the U.K. include automobiles, gems and precious metals, and mineral fuels, including oil. No doubt some of the oil exported from the U.K. comes from the valuable oil reserves in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. It is not, however, exports that the U.K. is best known for, but rather its service sector, which includes services in finance, insurance, and other business services.
Germany hosts the world’s 4th largest economy, valued at U.S.$3.86 trillion as of 2019. Germany is also the largest economy in Europe. The country’s leading export is automobiles; brands like Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen. In addition, automobile parts generate a significant amount of export revenue for Germany. The country is also well known for its pharmaceuticals, and is the home of one of the world’s top drug makers, Bayer. Germany’s labor force is highly skilled, but it is also aging. The birthrate in the country is low, so replacing the workforce will likely require welcoming more immigrants. For the time being, however, the high number of immigrants coming into Germany is putting a strain on the country’s social welfare system.
The so-called Land of the Rising Sun is where you will find the world’s 3rd largest economy, valued at U.S.$5.08 trillion, according to 2019 figures. It is an economy that is highly dependent on exports. Indeed, Japan’s world-renowned technological know-how has made Japanese exports desirable worldwide. Not surprisingly, Japan’s top export is vehicles. In fact, vehicle exports make up nearly a fifth of the country’s total exports. Japanese automakers like Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi are household names. Japan’s second largest export is machinery, including computers. Indeed, some of the best high tech products are made in Japan.
The United States of America is the home of the world’s largest economy. The U.S. economy is valued at a whopping U.S.$21.43 trillion, meaning that it is worth more than four times as much as the G7’s next biggest economy, Japan. Just about everything is made in the U.S., but the biggest driver of the U.S. economy is not exports, but services, which include finance, real estate, insurance, professional and business services, and healthcare. Two big advantages that the U.S. economy has are that the country is the world’s biggest geopolitical power, and that it is able to carry a much bigger debt load than any other country, since the U.S. dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency. The main threats to the future economic prosperity of the U.S. come in the form of socio-economic factors, such as income inequality, rising health and social safety net costs, and decaying infrastructure.
Large Economies Not Part Of The G7
Not all countries with the world’s biggest economies are part of the G7. Indeed, Brazil, India, and China, which have the world’s 9th, 5th, and 2nd biggest economies in the world respectively, are not part of the G7. But why not? Firstly, the economies of Brazil, India, and China, though among the top ten in the world, are still very much underdeveloped, and membership in the G7 is exclusive to developed countries. It has also been suggested that China is excluded from the G7 because it is not a democracy like all the current members of the group.
|Rank||G7 Member State||Population||GDP (USD)||GDP per capita (USD)||HDI|