The G10 countries are a group of eleven countries with similar economic interests. The member countries meet annually to consult and debate international financial matters. They also participate in formulating the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB), a supplementary borrowing plan invoked if IMF resources are below a member’s needs. The member countries comprise:
The G10 was established in 1962 when the governments of eight IMF members (France, Japan, the UK, United States, Belgium, Canada, Italy, and Netherlands) and the central banks of Sweden and Germany agreed to provide resources to the IMF for withdrawal by members and non-members.
Switzerland then joined the association in 1964, strengthening the G10 and expanding membership to 11 countries. However, the name remained G10.
After its inception, the G10 broadened its engagement with the IMF to include issuing reports that led to the development of the Special Drawing Right. Examples of reports that have been published under the aegis of the G10 include:
- The 2005 about the implications of ageing and pension system reforms on financial markets
- Role of micro-policies on asset markets (2003)
- The impact of insolvency arrangements (2002)
- Study on consolidation in the financial sector (2001)
- The introduction of electronic money, consumer protection policy formulation, law enforcement and cross border issues (1997)
- The G10 is also responsible for creating The Smithsonian Agreement after the Bretton Woods System collapsed, replacing the fixed exchange rate with a floating exchange rate.
Functions of G10 Countries
The primary objective of the G10 is to coordinate fiscal and monetary policies to foster economic stability worldwide. The central bank governors and finance ministers of member countries meet every year to discuss financial and monetary policies affecting them, their trade, and the global economy. They also decide when to activate the GAB agreement.
The IMF allows member countries to activate this arrangement when New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB) participants refuse to activate the NAB agreement. NAB is a credit arrangement between the IMF and 38 member countries, allowing them to borrow supplemental resources.
G10 governors meet every second month at BIS (Bank of International Settlements), an international finance organization owned and operated by 60 member central banks. Its primary objective is to ensure financial stability, act as the central bank for member central banks, and foster cooperation.
Despite G10’s commitment to formulating policies that ensure financial stability worldwide, critics find most of the policies ineffective when addressing the needs of developing countries.