TRINIA

Economy

Wealth map of Trinia

Map showing the distribution of wealth in Trinia. The darker areas are wealthier than the lighter areas.

[click map for larger view]

Economic system

The Trinian economy is organised along lines unique to this country. The objective of its economic policy is to ensure that ownership of important economic infrastructure remains in the hands of ordinary Trinians, rather than in the hands of a wealthy elite. For this reason, Trinian law and policy gives strong incentives to companies in which employees are part-owners (analogous to the so-called "co-operative movement" in certain other countries). Ownership of Trinian companies and assets by individuals is limited, as is ownership by foreign interests.

In years past, the Trinian government has described its economic system using the word "kŏmiunismu" — this literally translates to "communist", although in fact, Trinia has never implemented true communism as it is internationally understood. (For example, Trinia does not seek to institute a command economy, or state ownership, or forced collectivisation.) Even in the context of the Trinian language, this label is increasingly being abandoned due to the large gap between formal definitions and actual Trinian practice.

Patterns of Wealth

Photo

Although Trinia has experienced solid economic growth since regaining its independence, it is unfortunately true that some areas have benefited more than others. In particular, Trinia's urban areas have outpaced rural areas, adding to the already significant trend of migration into the cities. Although the government is supportive of development in the cities, some of the more remote parts of the country still do not enjoy the standard of life expected of in modern country, and efforts are being made to promote rural development.

Major Economic Activities

Agriculture

Trinia's economy is less centred on farming today than at any other point in its history, but even so, the agricultural sector still makes an important contribution. Vulni and Eźuăna are the most important areas of agricultural production, with Melaţin and Armenar also being quite significant. A fairly wide range of crops are grown in Trinia, and in certain regions, farming of sheep and cattle is also important. The eastern provinces, Eźuăna and Armenar, are home to a large orchard industry — the latter is particularly known for its citrus fruit. Overall, Trinia is a net exporter of food, with dairy products, fruit, and vegetables making up the bulk of this trade.

Forestry

Trinia's forests are extensive, particularly in Melaţin and on the slopes of the Velamnoćul mountains. These forests have traditionally provided a large amount of lumber, and although the creation of an extensive national park system has almost ended the felling of old-growth forests, significant amounts of Trinia's interior is today devoted to forestry plantations. Much of the land used for forestry would not be productive farmland even if cleared, and its use for forestry allows Trinia to maintain a strong lumber industry without sacrificing useful cropland. Melaţin and the Torlon Gap are currently the country's largest centres of forestry.

Mining

The Velamnoćul mountain range, which separates Trinia's northern and southern provinces, has a number of valuable resources that can be extracted through mining, including coal, bauxite, nickel, and gold. Velamneşĭr, upper Vulni, and the more mountainous regions of Melaţin are the centre of Trinia's growing mining economy. There has also been a recent mining boom in Aḱănja province, which has a significant amount of copper. Diamond mining on a small scale occurs in Mianćir, in western Melaţin, although there are doubts as to whether there are sufficient diamonds there for the industry to be viable in the long term.

Manufacturing

Although Trinia's manufacturing sector is modest compared to that of some countries, it nevertheless forms an important part of the Trinian economy. Vulni, Armenar, and Eźuăna are the largest centres of manufacturing in Trinia, with the primary products being household appliances, furniture, and machine parts.

Electricity

The Velamnoćul mountains contain numerous sites suitable for hydroelectric dams, and Trinia generates more electricity than it uses. The surplus energy can be sold to other nearby countries and territories, many of which have higher populations but less opportunity for cheap energy. The surplus electricity is also used to smelt aluminium from bauxite ore mined in the Velamnoćul mountains — this is an energy-expensive process, making cheap electricity an advantage.

Tourism

Trinia has not traditionally been a major tourist destination, but in recent years, the number of visitor arrivals has been increasing steadily. This boom began in the period immediately after Trinia regained its independence, reflecting the increased awareness that Trinia receives as an independent country. Tourism has also been boosted by increased interconnection with the outside world - the number of flights in and out of Kurin has increased markedly over the last decade, and the introduction of the Occidental Express high-speed passenger train has made it easier for foreign citizens to visit the country. Kurin, Cordăma, and Zotĕa are all popular destinations for those interested in Trinian culture and arts, while the Torlon Gap and the Velamnoćul mountains are popular for their scenery. The old Tiŕănese ruins in Melaţin are also increasingly recognised as a potential tourist attraction.

Currency

The Trinian Empire's official currency is known as the nuren. This name derives from an old Trinian word roughly meaning "certified" or "approved". The modern nuren was introduced in 299 AP, when Trinia regained its independence, but the first appearance of the name was in the Principality of Kurin over a thousand years ago. Unlike many currencies, the nuren is not subdivided into a secondary unit. In times past, there have been coins representing fractional values of the nuren (half-nurens, quarter-nurens, etc), but these are no longer issued.

At present, the value of the nuren is fixed against a weighted basket of major currencies - the primary currencies used are the Cruisanan crown, the Burovian zaster, the Lendosan coronalo, and the Armatirian huygens. The fact that three of these four currencies are ultimately fixed to a gold standard means that the value of the nuren does not often change relative to the world's major currencies, however - roughly, there are fifteen nurens to the Cruisanan crown (thus making a nuren worth six or seven Cruisanan cents). There exist proposals to float the nuren, but these have not yet progressed beyond an initial exploratory stage.

There are coins worth 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 nurens. The first three are coloured bronze, the 5 nuren coin is coloured silver, and the 10 nuren coin is coloured gold. One side of each coin displays an image deemed to be significant to Trinia, while the other side displays a portrait of the reigning monarch. In order, the images on the five coins are a trading ship, a bow and arrow, a religious scroll, a traditional Trinian tiara, and the Trinian national symbol (the three horizontal bars).

There are notes worth 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, 300, and 500 nurens. (The latter three are quite rare in practice). The design of each note depicts an important scene in Trinia on the front, and two portraits on the reverse - one portrait is of the reigning Emperor, while the other is of a famous Emperor from Trinia's history. The scenes depicted on the notes are of Kurin's historic harbour, the Korentĭnur Palace, Armenar's vast orchards, the tomb of Dalana, the forests of Melaţin, the market of Zotĕa, and the Velamnian mountains. The historic emperors depicted are Kelus, Lanţinu, Loricos, Aurendon, Velserend, Olmăris, and Elumiral.


Commentary

In real life terms, the Trinian economy is in some ways comparable to the post-communist economies of certain countries in Eastern Europe — not as rich as the West, although not striken by famine or anything. I don't say that because of Trinia's nominal adherence to communism, though. The communists came to power in Trinia by being the only ones organised enough to catch the nationalist wave when Trinia regained its independence, but there was never much real enthusiasm for radical economic reform. As with a number of real life cases, lots of people voted for the communists because the communists were the only ones who seemed to be fighting for independence, not because they had actually read Marx. In the end, there wasn't even a proper revolution — only a few changes were actually implemented before things ran out of steam, and now that things have calmed down, the actual communists have found themselves edged by the more traditional forces in society (eg the Houses, which were caught off guard by independence but which have been busily reasserting themselves). Now, the government is essentially in the hands of people who see the grand plan for communist transformation as something to be quietly disposed of. They've already abandoned the term "communist" in English, and it won't be long before they abandon its Trinian equivalent, although at first, they'll probably claim to be adopting a "unique system tailored to Trinia's special circumstances" rather than outright admit they're ditching what few steps Trinia actually took towards communism.