What Is the Group of Five (G5)?

The Group of Five (G5) countries refer to Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. These emerging market economies include three of the four so-called BRIC nations and represent a fast-growing and increasingly important geo-political and economic segment of the world.

Prior to this usage, G5 referred to France, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and West Germany.

Key Takeaways

  • The Group of Five (G5) is a country grouping that includes Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
  • These emerging market and BRIC economies are increasingly important on the world stage.
  • This organization, like other "G" groupings, seeks to promote diplomacy, trade, and policy among and between members.

Understanding the Group of Five

Group of Five is a shorthand that follows a common pattern in diplomacy: national leaders will periodically convene summits labeled according to the number of countries participatingG8 or G20, for example. The 2003 summit of the G8 included the participation of the five largest emerging economies: Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. This gathering was later referred to as the "G8+5" at the 2005 summit. By 2007, the countries were known as the G5, but later lost relevance as other groupings became more important.

The G5 grouping overlaps with the more famous BRIC grouping of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which gained prominence over the G5. The G5's website is no longer available, but an archived version says the group "plays an active role in the transformation of the international landscape with the objective of promoting dialogue and understanding between developing countries and developed ones in order to find common solutions to global challenges." (Text translated from Spanish).

G5 is also the former name of the G6, a grouping now comprised of Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain and Poland. The group was renamed when Poland joined in 2006.

Other Country Groups

The G8 is an assembly of the world's largest developed economies that have established a position as pacesetters for the industrialized world. Leaders of member countries the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, France anduntil recentlyRussia, meet periodically to address international economic and monetary issues. In 2014, Russia was suspended from the group after annexing Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine. As a result, the G8 is now often referred to as the G7.

The G20 is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 of the world's largest economies and the European Union. Formed in 1999, the G20 has a mandate to promote global economic growth, international trade and regulation of financial markets. The members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.K, the U.S. and the European Union.