Who Should Be A G8(+5) Member?

by Dave

“Asia is going to become an even more dominant portion of the global economy in the next few years,” says Francisco Larios, chief economist of emerging markets at Decision Economics. “They’re supplying the world with capital and expanding the reach of their investments around the world. The Asian economic ascent has to be represented in all national forums.”

But major roadblocks stand in the way of China’s eventual membership.
The G-8 originated as a summit for the world’s major industrialized democracies, and many pundits contend that socialist China lacks any ideological common ground that furthers the G-8′s discourse. Some American politicians, including likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain, advocate both the refusal of admission to China and the removal of Russia from the group due to publicized restrictions of civil liberties imposed by their governments.

India, meanwhile, is a model capitalist democracy and maintains a civil relationship with the G-8 nations–two important qualifications for a first-class candidate. But many experts aren’t sure if India would even accept the invitation if offered. India is a leading member of the Non-Aligned Movement, an organization of nations declaring themselves neither for nor against any major global alliances. The nation might also take a G-8 invitation to be an insignificant gesture compared with their larger goals as a world power.

“I think there might be a certain element of Groucho-Marxism to India’s situation,” says Newton, referring to the comedian’s famous assertion that he “wouldn’t belong to any club that would have him for a member.” “It’s also not as if they’re being offered a seat on the U.N. Security Council.”

Though they would likely join the clubhouse after China and India, Brazil and Mexico are also strong candidates for membership. Their economies are growing at a breakneck pace, and they symbolize geographic regions that are unrepresented in the current G-8.