Previse 2024: Lesser known World Groupings

Previse 2024: Lesser known World Groupings

GS3 | International Groupings

Table of contents

The news landscape is often dominated by established players, but sometimes lesser-known groupings capture our attention. Whether political, social, or environmental, these groups can play a crucial role in shaping current events.

This section explores some of the lesser-known groupings making headlines.

Cairns Group

The Cairns Group | UPSC
  • The Cairns Group is an interest group involving 19 agriculture-exporting countries.
    • Its objective is to abolish trade-distorting ("amber box") support for agricultural products and export subsidies.
  • It includes members like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
  • The group claims that India’s public stockholding programme is highly subsidized and the farm support is “distorting” global food prices and food security.
  • It aims at dismantling India’s MSP scheme or reducing its scope.

NB8 Group

  • NB8 is a regional cooperation group with five Nordic and three Baltic countries.
  • It was called NB8 or Nordic-Baltic Eight in 2000.
  • The members include Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  • Nordic-Baltic cooperation with India includes fields such as innovation, health, intellectual property rights, tourism, green transition, maritime, space cooperation, and artificial intelligence.

Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group 

Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group | UPSC
  • V20 Group was established in 2015 in Lima, Peru, during the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.
  • Its formation originated from the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s Costa Rica Action Plan (2013-2015) to strengthen economic and financial responses to climate change.
  • It seeks to promote climate resilience and low-emission development to address economic and financial issues.
  • The members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, East Timor, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, the Maldives, Nepal, the Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Chip 4 or Fab 4 Alliance 

  • The Chip 4 group includes the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, the world's top semiconductor producers.
  • This group represents more than 70% of the global semiconductor industry by value.
  • The objective is to enhance the "security" and "resilience" of semiconductor supply chains and reduce reliance on chips made in China.
  • It also aims at supporting industry efforts to diversify their manufacturing base and protection of the Intellectual Property of companies.


  • ECOWAS, or the Economic Community of West African States, is a regional grouping that promotes economic integration in the West African sub-region.
  • It was formed in 1975 by 15 West African countries in Lagos, Nigeria, and has its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • ECOWAS established its free trade area in 1990 and adopted a common external tariff in 2015.
  • The group developed a peacekeeping force for conflicts in the region, which was helpful during the civil war in Liberia in 1990 and the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Sierra Leone in 1997.

Bucharest Nine

  • Bucharest Nine includes nine Eastern European countries that have also been part of NATO since the end of the Cold War.
  • Founded in 2015, the group is also referred to as “countries on NATO’s eastern flank”.
  • The members in B9 include Romania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and all are part of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation..
  • Romania, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria are former members of the Warsaw Pact while Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were part of the former USSR.

Cotton Four (C4)

  • Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad and Mali are known as the Cotton Four or C4 group.
  •  It was formed to discuss trade reforms needed to address cotton subsidies and high trade barriers.
  • These four countries are the African continent's leading cotton producers and exporters.
  • Togo recently joined the grouping for a new stage and is now called Cotton-4 Plus and Togo. 

Minerals Security Partnership 

  • Minerals Security Partnership is a US-led partnership to protect supply chains of critical minerals and reduce dependency on China.
  • Critical minerals have high economic vulnerability and high global supply chain risk.
  • There are 14 members including the UK, Australia, France, India, Germany and the European Union.
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