by Max Barry

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by The Republic of The Tsunterlands. . 27 reads.

The Economy of the Tsunterlands

The Tsunterlands is generally considered to be a newly industrialised, emerging and upper middle economy. The economy is generally market orientated and structured around both Cooperatist and Tsunter Nationalist ideals. The most prominent economic institutions are forms of cooperatives. The average Tsunterman or -woman will likely work in worker co-operative, living in the housing co-operative, rely on a co-operative for their utilities and bank with a financial cooperative. Clan culture is also integral to economic life within the Tsunterlands, with one’s place of work, residence and custom often being associated to an individual's clan alignment. The 8,945,057 Tsunter citizens have a GDPpC of $35,00 USD. Between 2010 and 2020 the Tsunter economy saw an average annual growth of 4.9%.

The Tsunter economy is heavily orientated around its maritime position with shipping and shipbuilding being its first and second largest industries respectively. Since the early 2010s the electronics industry as grown exponentially overtaking the adjacent mining industry to become the third largest employer in the country. The fishing and tourism industries also make major contributions to the Tsunter economy.

In spite of its' export orientated industries the Tsunterlands generally maintains an even balance of payments. This is due to the lack of arable land or natural supplies of energy the Tsunterlands is forced import much of its food and energy needs.

Cooperatist Economics
Cooperatism is a political ideology, based on the writings of James Misson, that aims to create a society in which local organisations cooperate together to achieve mutually beneficial goals. Within a Missonist society the dominant form of economic institution are cooperatives, wherein democratic means are used to manage the institution – ie residents managing their housing, employees managing their place of work, customers managing certain retail outlets and other places of custom. Tsunter Cooperatism, established in the 1950s, combines orthodox Missonist principles with elements of Tsunter Nationalism, such as an emphasis on clan ownership. Therefore, many of these cooperatives are managed through local clan power structures. Cooperatist economics are enshrined in the constitution with many laws and various court rulings upholding its principles. One of the more controversial of these is the Ganguard-Hansomme Law, first passed in 1959, which forbids foreign investors from buying a controlling share in any native Tsunter cooperative. It is estimated that around 85% of all economic institutions within the Tsunterlands are cooperatives with the remaining 15% primarily being foreign owned businesses. Of these cooperatives around half are controlled through clan ownership.

Prior to the arrival of foreign sailors in the 17th century, the Tsunterlands was mostly inhabited by a series of small nations that were mostly sustained by fishing, local sea trade and some minor levels of mining. Piracy first became a notable feature within the Tsunterlands as far as back as the 12th century AD as weak polities were unable to supress criminal maritime activity however it was within the age of sail in the 17th century that piracy exploded in the region. As the Big Hook and Little Hook Peninsulas became a major hub of pirate activity many settlements grew along the coasts line so support this growing illicit industry. While many of these settlements clothed themselves in worth enlightenment of ideals of liberty and republicanism, they remained economically sustained by the practice of high seas piracy and smuggling until the mid 18th century when the region was successfully conquered by Aizcona.

Under Estran rule the Tsunterlands became an underdeveloped economic backwater, this was in part driven by a near constant cycle of insurrection and suppression. Some ports along the Tsunter coastline began to be used as shipyards however ship construction remained expensive do the costs of transporting timber from the interior to the coastline. During the 1890s there was some exploratory mining expeditions conducted into the mountainous regions of the Big Hook peninsular that discovered vast amounts of iron ore deposits that some believed could be used in the construction of new ironclad warships, but the Estan government remained uninterested in investing its extraction due to fears of Tsunter separatism.

When the country won its freedom in 1921 the new Young Tsunter government, had the unenviable task of rebuilding an economy destroyed by war. As part of the reconstruction efforts the government created a centrally planned economy, rapidly mordernising and industrialising the nation and focusing on developing a thriving shipbuilding industry. The industrialisation efforts were aided by the already highly urbanised population of the Tsunterlands. Unfortunately, this also contributed to the prevailing threat of famine that defined this era. Under Estran rule the Tsunterlands had been reliant on food grown in the Estran homeland to feed its population. With relations between the two nations fairly cold the Tsunterlands became reliant on importing food as well as energy to feed the shipbuilding industry that had quickly dominated the Tsunter economy. The shipping industry also began to emerge as the Tsunterland’s fairly central position in Mesder Sea led it to dominate maritime freight transport. However it was the shipbuilding industry alone that effectively held up the Tsunter economy which along with its adjacent industries, particularly mining, employed 62% of all Tsunters by 1929. By the mid 1930s it was becoming rapidly clear that the nation had, within less that two decades, almost exploited all of its mineral wealth that was necessary for the industry. This was viewed as an existential threat to the nation and was a major factor in why the Tsunterlands enter the First Imperial War on the side of the Neo-Imperialists, hoping to capture territory rich the ores to keep their industry alive. During the final years of the war, the Estan navy successfully blockaded the Tsunterlands, causing a massive famine, and eventually forcing the Tsunterlands to surrender.

The Tsunterlands’ loss in the Imperial War meant that the post war government, soon under the control of the Cooperatists, found itself in a similar position to 1921 of having to rebuild. The economy was restructured according to Cooperatist ideals and cooperatives would become the major economic institution within the nation. The country struggled with shortages of food and other basic items throughout the 1950s. Shipping once again became a major part of the economy, especially following the creation of the Tsunter Open Registry in 1958 which saw the Tsunter flag become one of the most commonly flown flag of conveniences. Punitive treaties imposed by the victorious Free Powers prevented from the Tsunterlands from building large numbers of naval warships (until these treaties were renegotiated in 1988) leading to the nation become one of the premier producers of commercial maritime ships which aided the nation's efforts to rebuild its once great shipping industry. However, without access to the iron ore mines of the Big Hook, the last of which was declared to be dry in 1963, the Tsunterlands’ shipbuilding industry never reached is pre-war heights. Instead, much of mining infrastructure was moved toward the eastern interior as technological advancements saw greater usage for the large deposits of for the palladium, lithium and germanite deposits found in that region. The refinement of germanium allowed for the manufacture of germanium based transistors, diodes and rectifiers, leading to the birth of a Tsunter electronics industry that contributed led to the golden years of 1963-1974.

However, as silicon-based electronics superseded their Germanium counterparts the industry began to decline leading to a economy slump throughout the late seventies and eighties. This became combined with an era of ethnic violence in the eastern interior that raised production costs and in generally helped contribute to years of political instability that followed the ousting of the Cooperative Party in 1987. Attempted liberalisation of economy in 1991 and the adoption of fabless semiconductor manufacturing model helped grow the economy but saw wealth inequality rise throughout the nation and by 1998 the Cooperatist party would regain power. The economy however would continue to struggle until 2009 when a range of political reforms helped stabilise the nation and saw a new period of economic growth. In particular the 2010s saw many foreign investors begin investing back into the Tsunter electronics industry helping regrow the industry into a modern powerhouse within the Tsunter economy.

As a costal nation composed largely of peninsulas, the shipping and the maritime sectors are among the most important industries to the Tsunter economy. The country relies on the 120bn it contributes to the national GdP and the 2. 5 million jobs the industry creates. The Tsunterland’s central position on the west coast of Argus, along with its narrow eastern coast on the Southern Sea gives it a prime location for shipping freight across both seas. The CKD Rail-Ferry Link is a transport network that links the two coast together, taking freight from the port of Cazalia via rail into the Goya Lake and then down the Kadakuez river into the Gulf of Kevarai. The network is estimated to generate around $3,170,000 USD each year. Since 1958 the Tsunterlands maintains an open maritime registry, allowing for that owners of ships can register their vessels as Tsunter with relatively few restrictions. As such the Tsunterlands had one of the largest Maritime registries in the Western Isles with over 5,500 registered ships.

Major Tsunter freight shipping companies include:

  • Ganggard-Hansomme

  • East Argean Logistical Solutions (EALS)

  • Tsunter Mesder Shipping Cooperative (TMSC)

  • Bowmoor-Kilchoman-Arbeg (BKA)

  • New Marine Cooperative

The Tsunterland’s first emerged as a regional leader in shipbuilding in the 1920s, becoming a major producer of the warships that would see action across the Western Isles during the First Imperial War. The depletion of the natural resources this industry had depended on led to the Tsunterland’s joining the Neo-Imperialists during the war. Following the Tsunterland’s defeat in the war the industry refocused on the production of commercial ships and other maritime equipment. During the 1960s and 1970s the Tsunterland’s became a major producer of oil tankers and oil drilling platforms. The construction of the 1.5 million-ton capacity Chae’La Goth Shipyard in Gothray in 1962 and the 2 million ton capacity TMSC shipyard in Libertalia in 1968 would cause the shipbuilding industry to become the largest employer in the Tsunterlands, although the industry would struggle during the 1980s as oil production levels declined. Today, the industry employs around 1.3 million Tsunters and contributes around 100bn USD to the national GDP.

Major Tsunter shipbuilding companies include:

  • Tsunter Maritime Construction Cooperative - a subsidiary of TMSC, based in the Libertalia Shipyard

  • West Hook Clan Cooperative - primarily Based in the Gothray Shipyard

  • Bowmoor Marine Engineering (BME) - Subsidiary of BKA, based in Bowmoor Shipyard

  • S.K.E. Heavy Industries - based in Dominzoa Shipyard

Electronics Manufacturing
The Tsunter electronics industry first established itself in the late 1950s with its major product being germanium-based semiconductors. After germanium semiconductors became superseded by silicon the late 1970s the Tsunterlands would lose its competitive edge in the global market eventually causing most companies to either cease operations or to shift production to new fields. In the 1970s a wave of prospecting and exploitation of the lithium and palladium deposits found in eastern interior saw many companies move into manufacturing products based on this minerals. Meanwhile the collapse of the semi-conductor industry left the Tsunterlands in the position of having a large number of abandoned foundries providing ideal conditions for the adoption of the fabless manufacturing system wherein foreign semi-conductor designs were manufactured within the Tsunterlands. This would prove a shot in the arm to revive the industry and since the late 1990s the electronics industry, underpinned by the manufacture of silicon based semiconductors, has grown at a steady pace and is estimated to become the Tsunterlands’ dominant industry by 2030. Along with semiconductors other major Tsunter electronic products include catalyst converters and lithium ion batteries. The vast majority of Tsunter electronics manufacturing is done on the Little Hook peninsular or in the Eastern interior.

The major electronics companies of the Tsunterlands are:

  • Argean Microelectronics Industries

  • Chae’La Slark Manufacturing Cooperative

  • Nastros Technologies

While mining has played a role in the Tsunterlands economy since the 1920s it has always relied on secondary industries to be profitable. Prior to the Imperial War the vast majority of mining was focused on extracting iron ore from mountains of the Big Hook to provide for the Tsunter shipbuilding industry that dominated the economy. The demand for iron was so huge that by the late 1930s there were serious concerns that the entire national supply was nearing total depletion. This issue was not alleviated by the Imperial War which led to an even greater demand for warships. It was the advancement of technology in the post war years that saved the industry as the deposits of palladium, lithium and germanium found in the Eastern Interior were now worth extracting. In the post war years many of those previously employed in the iron mining industry found work in the Eastern Interior mining new minerals. Since the 1990s the Tsunter mining industry has generally been in decline partly due to the influence by the influence of the Civic Union Party which pushes for greater environmental protection in the Eastern Interior on behalf of their Ipachi constituents. Major Companies include ChKMC (originally the Chae’La Karran Mining Cooperative and now colloquialy known as Chick MC) and the Magkawan Mining Cooperative.

Tourism plays a major role in the Tsunter economy. An average of 7.2 million tourists visit the Tsunterlands each year, particularly concentrating on the resorts found across the Tsunter Bay. Libertalia and Port Flinton are the two most visited cities of the country receive 1.9 million and 1.1 million visitors respectively in 2019. Gaeltic and Raedlonians make up the majority of tourists. Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the Tsunterlands and it is expected to grow by 7.8% annually until 2025. The tourism sector employs roughly 10% of the workforce.

Fishing is arguably the oldest industry in the Tsunterlands as historically much of the population was dependent on artisanal fishing to survive. While fishing contributes relatively little to the modern country’s economy it still plays an important role in Tsunter society as fish remains a staple food of the Tsunterlands. Lobster, tuna, squid and blue shark account for more than 70% of the fish caught commercially in Tsunter waters. The fishing industry is generally concentrated around the Big Hook peninsula.

Major Tsunter fishing companies include:

  • Tsrotter’s Cooperative

  • Blue Mesder Group

  • Flinlaggen Frank’s Fishing, “Fish for biting” ltd.