When George Bush convenes his economic summit today, he’ll see some less familiar faces around the table. In what could signal a historic shift in global power, Bush hasn’t just invited the wealthy nations of the G-8 to this summit, but a wider Group of 20, including developing nations like China, Brazil, and India. It’s these up-and-comers, after all, who are likely to provide what little growth the global economy sees next year.
With the larger powers reeling from the financial crisis, developing nations hope this first G-20 summit will swing wide the doors of international power. This particular group will meet at least once more, for a follow-up summit in early spring. From there, a smaller core group could emerge. Others, like Canada and Turkey, favor renaming the summit the L20—“L” meaning “leaders”—and holding it annually.