Currency: Aurean Mark (AM)
Exchange Rate: 1 AM = $1.789 (June 2012)
Major Industries: Tourism, information technology, book publishing, aquaculture
Major Exports: High-tech electronics, computer software, ships, electric cars, aquacultural products, luxury spices, medicine, culture
Major Imports: Agricultural products, steel, heavy machinery
Pax Aurea is a wealthy nation with moderate income equality. With a strong gross domestic product rating ($36,936 in June 2012), highly educated population, and a flourishing industrial sector has made the Commonwealth an economic powerhouse.
Being a federation composed of several islands and archipelagos around the Atlantic Ocean, Pax Aurea has throughout its history relied heavily on overseas trade. With a still-increasing, skilled population, the Commonwealth has managed to rise into dominance on several hi-tech industrial sector, but this development has also made it more and more dependent on foreign trade. In particular, the Aurean isles lack the metals and agricultural foodstuff to keep the society self-sufficient.
On the other hand, the Aureans are constantly working to improve their aquacultural food production and pouring millions of Aurean Marks into R&D of renewable energy sources to prevent the nation from becoming completely dominated by overseas fossil fuels.
Pax Aurea's current economic system could be categorized as Keynesian. The Commonwealth has joined the free-trade zone of the European Economic Community in 2012.
With little land to cultivate for farming, the Aureans have turned their eyes to the vast oceans. Aquaculture -- or sea farming -- has become the norm of the society. Large kelp and seaweed farms are common sights all around the Commonwealth. These massive underwater forests and floating "mattresses" can be several square kilometers in size. In the cool waters rich with nutrients, kelp farms can yield several crops in a year.
Kelp harvesting is done with large ships specifically designed for this task. Harvesting the crops is careful work in order to minimize any and all potential harms for the environment.
Plaktic colonies and algae are also farmed in great pools along the shoreline. The yield from these pools is then reprocessed into various products from industrial biomass to luxury delicacies. "It's our soy", is a common Aurean saying when it comes to these products.
The growing tendencies towards vegetarianism have recently made Pax Aurea one of the few nations in the world where meat-eating has been banned. This extends also to fish, crustaceans, and other sealife. The great fishing fleets have thus slowly been replaced with sea farms that keep expanding as the ever-hungry population grows.
In the Aurean metropolises, vertical farming with hydroponics in the middle of the cities has greatly increased over the last twenty years, providing more and more grains, vegetables, and fruits with as limited transportation as possible to the locals.
With little resources for heavy industry or metallurgy, Pax Aurea has over the last six decades become increasingly focused on high technology products: consumer electronics, computer hardware and software applications, electric cars, information and satellite technology, and renewable energy technology such as more efficient solar panels, tidal plants, windmills, and fuel cells. The roots of this can be found from the high standards of education and many prominent universities and R&D institutions, but also from the pressing need to come up with new and innovative ways to ensure the best quality of life possible to the highest number of people possible with as little space used and ecological harm done as possible.
High, majestic skyscrapers are iconic to Aurean cities where real estate is scarce and expensive and the most cost-efficient and resonable way to build it upwards. Construction firms with talented engineers and visionary architectures are not only needed in home, but also an export with a constantly high demand.
Even before the Roman Era, Aureans have been famous for their shipwright skills; indeed, "the Commonwealth without its ships would be like a seagull without its wings", as a 17th century politician put it. Shipyard industry is one of the most important, eldest, and most profitable branches of industries in the country. Aureans build everything from private luxury yachts to gargantuan freight ships to light-as-the-wind-itself composite-hull sports catamarans.
During the first quarter of 2011, tourism became the most profitable branch of Aurean economy. Millions of tourists from all over the world travel to Pax Aurea every year, crowding the airports and especially the great ports of all major coastal cities. The future looks sunny, for "something for everyone" has been the Commonwealth's philosophy for this sector. Almost 90 million people visit Pax Aurea every year.
Traditionally, the leading tourist attractions have been the famous historical sites: old Roman era ruins and archaeological sites, the beautiful Gothic cathedrals from the High Middle Ages, the stunning Renaissance palaces and plazas. Art galleries, opera houses, theaters, and digital arts exhibits and other cultural highlights have recently got competitors from the flourishing vacation resorts and luxury casinos.
But in the end, it is nature that the majority of tourists are still seeking. White beaches and turquoise lagoons, rainforest preserves, coral reefs, whale safaris, and other scenic sites continue to draw in people by the millions. And while the officials have been forced to limit travelling to certain areas to prevent ecological damages, the billions of Aurean Marks the eager tourists bring with themselves have been a godsend to the expensive environmental protection programs of the Commonwealth.
Since Pax Aurea's main islands are located off the western Atlantic coast of Europe, and its colonies in the Caribbean and along the African west coast, the varying ecosystems offer something to every taste.
Another important factor has been the safety and stability of the Aurean society. Crime rate is very low, and the tourist attractions haven't suffered from terrorism, natural disasters, or other grim events in the past.
Private vs Public Sector
Despite being a relatively free-market nation, one of Pax Aurea's economic backbones is a strong public sector. The federal administration is by far the largest single employer of the Commonwealth. In 2012, as much as 73% of the industry was wholly or partially public. In these statistics, being classified as "partially state-owned corporation or other entrepreneur" required that a minimum of 20% of the shares of the said corporation were owned by the state.
Among the largest employers of the public sector were Typograpeum Aureum (the number one publishing house of Pax Aurea), Federal Freight and PAX Cargo (shipping companies), and Fructus Pelagi (an aquacultural powerhouse), and Commonwealth Broadcasting Company CBC (a radio/television/internet/mobile network company).