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EECONOMY OF MARI'IM

This section covers the economy and currency of Mari'im.

PRIMARY INDUSTRIES

The primary forms of economic activity in Mari'im are still farming and fishing. In many respects, these activities remain much the same as they have always been - while there have been improvements in technology and equipment, the tradition of communal ownership and working of farmland and fishing boats remains strong. Usually, it is a village rather than an individual who has formal ownership, and the food obtained is shared with all.

COMMENTARY: Well, sort of. The Mari'im government has certainly tried to make things work like this - it's the old collectivisation of farms that communist governments like, but dressed up as preserving tradition. However, it frequently doesn't work like this in practice - deeds of ownership may imdeed rest with local authorities, but actually trying to make farmers stop working the land that their family has held for generations would cause more trouble than most local authorities are prepared to provoke. And in any case, how would a village-based food-sharing system cope with the fact that millions of people live in cities, miles away from farmland? As is so often the case in Mari'im, the grand ideas thought up by the central government don't actually make much headway against Mari'im daily life.

There are also other industries, of course, most of them concentrated in larger towns. Mari'im is proud to be largely self-sufficient with regards to its basic needs, and it has little need for expensive imports. In some industries, Mari'im is a net exporter. The Aka'ia peninsula is a particular seat of industrial activity, having special economic status to facilitate this. (It should be noted, however, that Mari'im has strict environmental controls which prevent the growth of high-polution industries - preservation of the natural world is considered more important than monetary wealth).

COMMENTARY: Mari'im doesn't import much largely because most citizens can't afford much. Its self-sufficiency owes more to low standards of "basic needs", rather than to any substantial manufacturing capacity. (Most manufacturing capacity, particularly in those areas where Mari'im "is a net exporter", is owned by foreign companies, mostly from former colonial power Lendia. Mari'im has reluctantly decided that seizing these factories would do sufficient damage to the fragile economy than it would like to deal with, and so treats them as "examples of friendship and co-operation between nations".)

In recent years, the Mari'im government has also begun to promote the country as an ideal vacation destination for foreign tourists. Mari'im possesses some of the finest beaches in the world, and some of the best weather - moreover, it does not suffer from crowds or over-pricing. The government is moving to facilitate tourism by simplifying visa processes and fast-tracking resort developments on Aka'ia and in the Free Isles.

COMMENTARY: The Mari'im government, always short of cash due to the country's undeveloped economy, has hit on sunny beach resorts as a way of generating revenue. Everything is owned by the state, of course, so the state collects all the profit. Although tourists are now officially welcome, the restrictions about foreign movement through the country are still in place - you can get visas to visit beach resorts fairly easily, but they won't let you into other parts of the country unless you're on a very closely controlled guided tour of carefully selected locations.

Photo of a Mari'im beach resort
A beach resort in Mari'im

CURRENCY

The currency of Mari'im is called the A'oko. There is no secondary unit. The A'oko has a fixed rate of exchange, with two hundred being equivalent to a Cruisanian Crown. In practice, bartering of goods rather than exchange of currency is quite common in rural areas.