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Trade Facilitation Conference [Greater Olympus][Closed]

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Vienna Eliot
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Trade Facilitation Conference [Greater Olympus][Closed]

Postby Vienna Eliot » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:54 pm

Olympian Multilateral Trade Facilitation Conference
Round 1 — Schloe, Oceania

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WELCOME to the first round of the Olympian Multilateral Trade Facilitation Conference, at the Grand Orchard Hotel in the supercity of Schloe, Oceania. Located about five hours south of the Oceanian capital city of Annheim, Schloe is a massive, dense, and sprawling metropolis on the coast of Oceania that welcomes more than 60 million visitors a year, and that nearly 10 million people call home.

Evolving out of bilateral talks between Oceania and Lykens and Oceania and Tero Malstreciga, a small secretariat was established to facilitate a conference focused on developing a robust infrastructure of multilateral trade agreements to which all nations could accede. Representatives from all countries have been invited to partake in the talks, and the secretariat has been received a generous grant from the local government to use the Grand Orchard's suites and conference center for the talks.

The schedule for the conference, the roster of attendees, and the meeting packet can be accessed by attendees here.


Lobby Bar at the Grand Orchard — Welcome Reception

His hometown was well west of here, but Daniel figured he could get used to Schloe for the next few months. Technically he was only Deputy Trade Representative for the Oceanian government — the actual Trade Representative couldn't commit to being here full time and the Finance Minister was busy in Annheim — but he fully intended to leave out the "deputy" when introducing himself to others at the reception this afternoon.

Drink in hand, he set out to see who he could bump into.

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Yuzhou
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Postby Yuzhou » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:00 pm

Aunko Bamayati
Schloe, Oceania

The valet car smelled of leather and apple air freshener.
Aunko had been in Schloe for little more than an hour and a half, and yet the absolutely gargantuan size of the city was apparent to him. From his car seat, a collage of high-scale urban scenes unfolded before him, all of it nearly impossible to process. Here, people uncountable formed the only readily flesh and blood part of this concrete jungle besides the ornamental plant life so neatly placed along the streets.

"One in every three Jashnagari would fit into this city before you reached it's current population." Aunko sad flatly, still focused out his windows.

"I think you'll find Schloe easy to get used to." his driver chuckled.

Aunko certainly hoped so. It was a far cry from the rural village he grew up in.
His attention turned inward as he checked his attire in the fold-down mirror. The man who greeted him was one he had known his whole life. Tall, with rounded face and dark gold Mahkeen skin. That skin, different to the other peoples of his country, had always marked his birthplace for those who could spot it.
He adjusted his long, curved moustache and then reviewed the rest of his outfit. For this occasion, as with all state business, he wore a long formal robe in white. Around his head was tied the traditional Mahkeen turban, similar to a bandanna, and in the color of his monastic order -- yellow. For though these were radically in contrast to the suites and ties he encountered around the globe, he knew God holds her displeasure for those that cower to the opinion of others.

"Here we are, Ten Orchard Road." his driver said.

Aunko watched the car turn, then pull up to the hotel entrance.
"Thank you.", he said stepping out of the car. "My people will stay in touch."

The Oceanic air was not disagreeable to him, though cooler than what he was typically used to. The bay nearby helped drive off the heat, he knew, and so could count on general comfort during his stay in this country.
He turned as his valet drove off. The Grand Orchard Hotel was nothing short of his expectations -- a hotel fit for an international trade conference. It was magnificent, of course. In all things unimaginably beautiful and the height of luxury.
Problem was -- he'd been down this road before.

One did not grow up the heir to a centuries old spice dynasty, climb their way to Representative of Trade, and stand in line to become the next Jashnagari Minister of Finance --God willing-- and not have stayed in some of the great resorts of the world. That said, Aunko looked forward to finding the more unique aspects of the Grand Orchard. For like nations, and men, hotels were all unique in some way. Even when their first impressions all said the same.

He alerted the rest of his staff of his arrival, securing his check-in, and without hesitation moved his way to the Reception.
I have been previously known as Apfeldonia and Thimbyrland

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Tero Malstreciga
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Postby Tero Malstreciga » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:37 pm

Schloe, Oceania

Aminda Miela was the Director of the Office of Trade for the Republic. Technically, she answered to the Department of Finance, with oversight from the Department of Exterior. Practically, she had considerable personal responsibility for this sort of thing. She was accompanied on this trip by Nikolao, one of her deputies, as well as Pipra, assigned from some sub-sub-office or other shared by the Departments of Exterior and Safety. In their retinue was an entire staff of secretaries, assistants, clerical help, security, translators, and more. Tero Malstreciga had an earned reputation in the foreign affairs community for being an ever-present force.

Their flight had been calm, just a short hop over some of the flyover parts of Mu-Kal. Arriving near the airport, Aminda got her first good look at the city called Schloe. It was big, exceptionally big. Larger than some of the cities she had visited in Golidamanzi or Abutu, but notably cleaner and more respectable than those sorts of places. One could almost mistake it for a Malstrecigano settlement, just one that went on much further than usual. "So how come the Finance Secretary isn't coming? I heard Juvela has some good relationships here, even speaks the language." Nikolao asked the question pointedly. Pipra turned back, face pressed between the seats. "I heard Brava is furiozis about the Oceanians beating him to this whole thing. You know he wants to spearhead globalism, whatever that is." Aminda laughed lightly, and shook her head. "No, no. The Prezidanto isn't anything of the sort. Secretary Juvela is just... preoccupied. The Canal Authority wants to reduce the Public Income Ratio, the usual."

There were a few moments of silence, before Aminda filled them again. "And don't think like that about the Oceanians. Secretary Kindler called them 'an encouraging possibility' yesterday, all the high-ups think they're a potential partner in a lot of our goals. There aren't that many real democracies functioning today, you know." Aminda turned back to look out through the window. "Even if they are struggling a little."


Arriving at the convention, the distinct attire of Jashnagari representatives ahead of them was noted. Aminda respected them, who did not compromise in their culture. She, and all of the Malstrecigano visitors, wore simple suits. Aminda settled her colourful scarf around her neck, the one distinction the Malstrecigano hadn't surrendered, and entered the lavish hotel before them. The group immediately dispersed through the complex, maintaining that traditional overbearing Malstrecigano presence in international meetings.

Aminda, as she walked to get a drink, recognized who she thought she recognized from some of the early provisional two-way talks leading up to the convention. She approached, and in her rough Oceanian she said "Daniel? Deputy Trade Representative? Is good to see you again. Very exciting, convention." She smiled, and extended a hand to shake.

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Postby Lykens » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:40 pm

Schloe, Oceania

Ysabel Alejandra Escarrá had spent four years at the prestigious business college at the University of Lykens and then several years bouncing around agribusiness. She cut her teeth in the shipping industry, rising to become operations manager for one of the wealthiest agrarian magnates in her home province of Arecibo, the Diaz family. Her ability to cut or negotiate down costs for the family's husbandry operation helped her stand out and become well acquainted with her employers, who considered their many employees to simply be an extension of their family, particularly Kenneth, the next in line to head the ranch. The two would become very close, and as Kenneth rose through the ranks of the political arena in Arecibo, so too did Ysabel.

A loyal and close ally, Ysabel served as Kenneth's Chief of Staff when he was elected Chairman of the provincial ARP and eventually secured a high enough place on the ARP list to be elected to the Grand Assembly. Having worked closely together for the last twelve years, the pair are deeply in tune and those who deal with Ysabel are highly aware that she speaks for the State Counselor, placing her in the lower rungs of his cabinet, she has served as the point person on numerous trade and business related items on his agenda. Which is how she ended up in the bustling metropolis of Schloe. As Under Secretary of State for International Trade, she had been dispatched to negotiate trade agreements with nearby countries.

Ever the savvy businesswoman, she could sense economic potential in any trade deal, but the political tactician could already see the looming political battle over any mention of touching the prized agricultural subsidies and protective tariffs for several industries who would fight tooth and nail to keep them, as well as the politicians who went to bat for them at a moment's notice. Granted, it was nice to be in a new city so she would enjoy the trip regardless.

Her hotel room was rather lovely and a quick search of the local nightlife on her phone promised a fun unwinding experience once the bureaucratic business was sorted.

She hurriedly exited the room to join the rest of the delegation waiting in the lobby to depart for the conference. As soon as she entered the lobby the delegation was whisked into a to van and sent across the city. With her today was her deputy, Assistant Secretary of State for International Trade, Salomé Fontana, a trio of diplomats from the Mu-kal and Nori and Kanchaka department, and factional warlords, Yolanda Eneida Campana of the pro business wing of the ARP and her counter part of the pro labor wing of the ARP, Abel Guadarrama. The two heavyweights had demanded participation in the trade negotiations, but compromised with the State Counselor to simply attend as observers, leaving the negotiating to Ysabel. With the two heavyweights breathing down her neck, she had a tall order on her plate, but she had trained her whole career for this, and she was ready.

As the town car pulled up to the venue, Ysabel sighed. The short car ride in complete silence was not a good sign. She smiled at the members of her delegation before exiting the car and entering the Grand Orchard Hotel.
Last edited by Lykens on Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vienna Eliot
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Postby Vienna Eliot » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:37 pm

Daniel
Daniel's pleasantry instincts — honed over years of political fundraisers and cocktail parties — kicked in immediately. He extended to shake Aminda's hand and, realizing that her Oceanian could stand to be improved, decided to try to be friendly by reciprocating in Spanish. He smiled at her for a few moments, then realized she did not speak Spanish. Back to Oceanian.

"Apologies — yes, Daniel. And you are Aminda, I think? Where did we meet again? The bilateral talks, right? So good to see you! How are you liking Schloe? How is everything back in Tero Malstreciga?"

Paola
"True," said Paola, looking away from Cipriano for a moment to smile at someone she thought she might have recognized. "But people in my department are telling me tariffs are barely on the table here. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't even touch on exceptions for agriculture. By the time we've worked out NTBs everyone will want to go home."

Paola had spotted Cipriano from across the lobby when he walked in with the delegation from Lykens. The two had met several times over the past few years — mainly at quasi-academic "professional development" functions — and had connected out of circumstance of both speaking Spanish. Paola came from the northern provinces of Oceania, so Spanish was her first language. That said, Paola came from the northern provinces from Oceania — so she wasn't privy to the inner circle of her delegation. Still, in a way this was liberating. While some of the other Oceanians either talked among themselves or shuffled awkwardly around with members of other delegations, academia had taught her to communicate like a human rather than a politician.

"Not that you guys are going to get into arguments with anyone else," she said, smiling, as she tilted her head toward Guadarrama at the bar. "Looks to me like you've got enough on your plate internally already."
Last edited by Vienna Eliot on Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Tero Malstreciga
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Postby Tero Malstreciga » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:53 pm

Aminda
The handshake was firm, not too long, and backed by good posture. A promising start. The conversation drifted into more questionable territory when Daniel replied to her in another Mu-Kali language, trying to bridge some kind of barrier perhaps? Truth be told, Aminda had spent much longer in Kanchaka than Mu-Kal, and she stared like a deer in headlights when Daniel spoke. He moved on tactfully and responded in Oceanian, though Aminda might have missed a word or two. She blushed slightly. She was more out of practice in the language than she cared to admit, though it looked like Daniel was too polite to cause a fuss.

Looking over he shoulder, she felt a wave of relief as she pulled Arturo by the arm into the conversation. He was a translator, among many other things. He was older, and a long-time veteran of this sort of thing. He smiled politely and wordlessly towards Daniel as Aminda spoke to him in Regulingvo. "Yes, the bilateral talks." He said, in much more credible Oceanian. "Schloe is beautiful, though I've felt a pull to stay near the complex, I fear I could get so lost here." Aminda laughed. "La Respubliko is well, the canal booms, the borders stay quiet. And only a few months ago, a team of mine working with private interests concluded a large deal with the Abutans. Opium, the markets are finally starting to open." Arturo glanced towards Aminda as he finished translating. Not everywhere in the world were such things considered polite conversation.

"What of your country? I haven't heard much Oceanian news since the bilateral talks were frozen to be folded into all of this."

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Vienna Eliot
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Postby Vienna Eliot » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:17 pm

Daniel
Daniel was admittedly relieved when the translator came, not because he was having a hard time understanding Aminda, but because now the conversation could flow much more comfortably. He’d worked on occasion with translators before, and kept his focus on Aminda. Still, it was novel enough to him that he couldn’t help but grin at how neat it was to be translated in real time.

“Schloe is a gigantic improvisation, but there’s plenty within a few miles of here.” He paused, thinking about what Oceanian news deserved a mention. “Well, President Eliot was excited to hear we had booked Schloe for the talks. The recent elections delivered us an excellent mandate to pursue some of the more aggressive policies on our economic agenda, and with the President's commitment to free trade I suspect the more fleshed out the agreements are that we bring back to Annheim, the better the reception will be."

Daniel decided to try and pivot to some casual business talk. "Of course, some members of the opposition party are already fearmongering around some false dichotomy between labor interests and free trade. Completely unprincipled of them, as always. What about your government? What's the dynamic like back in Urbo de Liberico? I suppose not everything is always peachy about democracy."

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Postby Lykens » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:18 am

Cipriano and Azucena

Cipriano rolled his eyes and sighed with exasperation.

"You don't even know the half of it, the two of them have been sniping at one another since a big environmental bill got scuttled because they wouldn't stop arguing long enough to negotiate. The State Counselor is at his wits end, I heard he snapped at the two of them in front of the entire cabinet not too long before we left."

His companion Azucena Suero chuckled on his left, "The Secretary of our department wouldn't even let us ask around about it, that's how bad it was, supposedly. The two of them barely spoke to the rest of us the entire plane trip, and as soon as we landed they took separate cars to the hotel and didn't come out until we left this morning. I'm glad I'm not in either of their factions because that's a lot of tension right now."

Cipriano grunted agreement before turning to the original topic.

"The best case scenario for this entire summit is without anything too major regarding tariffs, or those two are going to come down on us with their fangs bared, and we're not going to be lucky enough to hide behind anyone. What's the temperature for your higher ups?"

Ysabel

Ysabel had made a beeline to the bar upon the delegation's entrance into the lobby. With an appletini safely in her clutches, she took a deep breath before turning and facing the throng of plenipotentiaries and put on a smile. She noticed Daniel Robias, the lead Oceanian Trade Representative, conversing with a woman she recognized from the briefing packet she had assembled a few weeks ago, Aminda Miela, the lead Representative for Tero Malstreciga.

She scanned the lobby for the Under Secretary of State for Kanchaka and Lov'Aniwa, Azucena Suero, as she was fluent in the Regulingvo language and could assist in translation if needed. She saw the diplomat standing next to Cipriano Cortez, whose department covered Mu-Kal and Nori, and another Oceanian representative. Taking a sip of her drink, she walked over to the trio, apologizing for interrupting, she darted her eyes towards Daniel and Aminda and Azucena nodded before excusing herself and accompanying Ysabel across the hall.

"Have those two said anything yet?," Ysabel waved her hand in the direction of Abel Guadarrama conversing with other labor aligned representatives from Oceania.

"I haven't seen Yolanda in a few minutes, I think she went to the bathroom. They haven't even gotten close enough to speak to one another. He found labor friends and she went to talk to the Jashnagari and Malstreciganos about their governments' regulation of the economy."

Ysabel rolled her eyes before clearing her face of expression for a new meeting.

"Daniel, Aminda, it is a pleasure to see you both here. Daniel, I would like to extend the gratitude of the Government of Lykens for hosting such an important gathering."
Last edited by Lykens on Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Yuzhou
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Postby Yuzhou » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:22 am

Aunko Bamayati
Schloe, Oceania

Aunko had a knack for searching crowds, or at least that's what he told himself.
This one was no exception. The clusters of foreign personnel clung to every corner of the hotel lobby and reception area. Immediately Aunko recognized the heavy-hitters — Lykensburgish, Oceanian, and the Malstrecigoj with their scarfs all huddled like penguins on Kyros.
Penguins with a lot of influence and money.

Those three nations had been at the trade talk game for a long time with each other, leaving the Jashnagari the odd ones out in the wheeling and dealing of economic clout. It showed. The Jashnagari underlings that Aunko spotted as he made his way through the hotel clanned together more than they mingled, though this was not unusual behavior for them. Each of them, Aunko knew, recognized him as head delegate and thus technically their nominal boss, but almost all of them belonged to sub-ministers in his own trade department, or to his peers in the finance ministry. Their purpose was to bring Jashnagari presence to the convention, but their note taking would no doubt swing back to him when he made his bid for Minister of Finance next election.

His main concern was to find his two immediate staff members.
They were even easier to single out.
Ahead of him located to the side of the main thoroughfare was a man in a wheelchair and a woman standing at his side. The man, a rather young and bookish looking Jash, sat with a laptop open and sending white light reflecting from his glasses. Pashim, Aunko said to himself. The Jash had been Aunko's economics adviser since 2015, and the two got along decently well. Pashim was never much of a conversationalist, and that had allowed Aunko to operate freely with only the vitals.
The more striking figure was the woman. She was Pa'ea in ethnicity, with a thick bush of curly, free-flowing black hair. And Laela, Aunko thought. He couldn't help but notice her more modern attire— a blue woman's suite fit an a islander style skirt. Nor could he avoid spotting her bubbly exuberance that seems evident to him from across the hotel.
Maybe that was his years working with her.
Laela was technically his peer in the finance ministry, as she was Head of Tourism, but she had always been a partner to him whenever an economic job needed done. Hell, she was practically like his secretary. She had arranged all the rooms, checked-in, booked rides, and overall did the stuff coffee-warmers tended to do— all while wielding around her own subordinates and controlling her own department. Needless to say, Laela could stand to just about any multifaceted task.

"Bam-Bam!" she waved as Aunko approached.

He nearly dropped dead in that moment.
"Can you not shout that in a crowded room?"

"I told her." Pashim said.

"I thought it'd be...nostalgic. Like when we first started working together." Laela said.

"Except you've called me that for years, nearly every time I speak with you." Aunko replied. He suddenly remembered an email exchange that leaked his little nickname to the tax sub-ministry a few years back. That was followed by a shudder.

"True."

"Laela, aren't you a grown woman?"

"Yeah."

Aunko quickly realized he was on losing ground and decided not to continue a fight he wasn't going to win. That, he knew, was the enigma of Laela. She was a fully functioning, often times brilliant woman who quickly devolved into a giggly teenager if you started on the wrong foot. Dealing with her on any level outside of business and profession was like a bad game of bulao, once you made a mistake, any further moves just locked you into a worse defeat than before.
Yet he couldn't suppress the hint of a smile rising at the corner of his lips. He did enjoy her personality. He even came to expect and know it. It was simply that his goal at this conference was to feel out the waters of current international trade, and make a showing for his nation, both of which required a certain amount of professionalism. She was capable of that.

"Alright you two. Listen closely. Our mission here is to show that Jashnagar means business in the modern global market. We can't possibly swing around the weight that most of these other nations have. To them, we are a nation of superstitious tea farmers, yet every morning they season their eggs with Jashnagari pepper. Each afternoon they drink a cup of Jashnagari tea, and each evening their dessert pineapple bears the stamp of a plantation outside Yuram. Trade means money, and money means power as my grandfather used to always say. Power is how Yam'gonra succeeds, for both God and it's people. All that said, we'll see what this convention sparks up anything too disagreeable to our position. Pashim, you will be my go to guy navigating the technicalities of the economics talk." Aunko said.

Pashim didn't reply. He simply pushed his glasses further up his nose and typed away at his laptop. Aunko took that as acceptance and turned to Laela.
"And you— "

"I want Yam'gonra to host the best damn resorts in all of Nori," her expression turned suddenly serious. "But since that's not close to what we are here for, then I will be acting as your brain on top of acting as your legs. I got just about all of us here, so I might as well be co-representative of trade for Jashnagar while I'm here. That, Aunko, is my job."

Aunko nodded and a smirk streaked across his expression. There we go! he yelled to himself. The glimmer of a tiger behind the blooming flowers.
That too was the Laela he had known for so long now.

"Alright team, let's see whose stalking the grounds in the foreigner crowd." he said.
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Postby Tero Malstreciga » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:03 pm

Aminda and Arturo
The Malstregicanoj exchanged a glance with each other when Daniel mentioned labor interests, but it was over in an instant. Arturo turned back to Daniel, and through him Aminda said "The dynamic is very friendly towards trade, at home. The Malstrecigano purchasing power abroad has never been stronger, and many at home are keen to buy more international goods, when it becomes easier. New trade opportunities was one of the reasons Prezidanto Brava was elected, he even finally took back the plurality in the Chamber of Delegates from the Constitutionists. They want more trade too, of course, but they are too focused in securing export markets for our producers." Aminda shook her head. "I don't expect we'll ever be an exporter nation, and I don't see it as a problem. I'm happy to enjoy the best goods the world can offer us. Provided we get a fair deal on it."

Aminda was about to mention how true the dichotomy was at home, with LibSolPro's ardent push for luxury tariffs, but she was stopped by a Lykensburgish diplomat who entered the conversation. Yolanda? No, this one was Ysabel. Aminda smiled and nodded to her as she spoke. A translator Ysabel had brought helpfully translated her words into Regulingvo, and Aminda nodded and agreed. "Certainly agreed, this sort of ground work is so very important. And the Prezidanto will forgive you for beating him to it eventually." Aminda laughed lightly.

Nikolao
Nikolao was prowling through the convention, his second drink in hand. Having escaped niceties and empty discussion with a Lykensburgish representative who seemed quite interested in Malstrecigano fiscal policies, he spied a fascinating gaggle of Jashnagari representatives exploring the hotel. He approached, in a friendly way, and extended his hand towards them. In Lorian, he said "I'm so glad that your nation is present here. Exporters and producers are half of the equation after all, and I must say I have a personal admiration for Jashnagari teas. I hope I'm understandable, I've spent some time in your beautiful country, both for business and at Namoa Palms, and I like to think I've picked up the language. In a way, I like to think of it as a brother tongue to Regulingvo."

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Yuzhou
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Postby Yuzhou » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:39 pm

Laela

Laela walked beside her companions as they moved through the convention towards some open-ended destination, waiting for the business to really begin. The Grand Orchard had fascinated her from a technical standpoint, and she absorbed every detail she could from the decor to the running of the services. It was a routine developed over many years of hotel and resort shopping, and only the kind of trick a fully sharpened interest could bring.
She could hardly remember a time when her own forward momentum had been so passively held back, when she could have never imagined being the woman she was, or a time when luxury business was about as far from her upbringing as possible.

Yet here she was, Minister of Tourism for Yam'gonra, and currently acting second to the national trade representative.
She watched that trade representative calculate his way through the crowds. He's formulating for the talks, she knew, He'll need me to plug gaps in his planning.
Aunko wasn't stupid. In fact, he was far from it. His problem, however, was lack of conceptualization, missing the bigger and wider picture. The Aunko she knew, was firmly stuck in running his spice plantations, and could manage only to view national trade as a larger extension of that business.
More importantly, Aunko was stuck in tradition. His attire showed that. He was Mahkeen and he dressed as a Mahkeen, fit to do trade in the 16th century as much as he may be fit to do so now. Granted, her skirt was more than just a feminine update to her own outfit—it was a reminder of her Pa'ea heritage, but Aunko's traditionalism extended beyond just clothing. He would approach the convention as a spice lord, and perhaps miss out on all the global stand-points needed to be successful on this field. That is where she would help.

It wasn't long before they drew enough attention to be approached.
From the colorful scarf, Laela knew he was a Malstrecigano representative. From the way he walked, she knew he was in the upper rung of staff that they brought.
The man extended his hand.

Aunko, leading the way, stopped and did not immediately shake with the foreigner. Instead, he did exactly what Aunko would do. He placed his left hand to his heart and held the right up straight in the old Mahkeen greeting.
The representative spoke Lorian, and decently well. Much to Laela's surprise, Aunko hesitated before responding, and when he did, it was not in Lorian.

"Sankoban? Myit 'gin gana lepoi."
Should I? We can mess with this foreigner.

Pashim was next to fire back. This time in Jash.
"Yara mastel? Gorra sin, bayou bin saranag Mahn putel. Min peradam kuletel'a yoi."
You'd do that? Your Mahkeen is rough old man. This foreigner is a source of information.

Laela's eyes almost rolled to the back of her head, her eyelashes flowed like butterfly wings before her vision. If she ever had a seizure, it would undoubtedly be brought on by these two. Clearly, she turned Aunko onto a humorous mood.

"U'lele O'na hete pare ne he! 'Na oi talanofo 'a kaie, mo roa." She responded.
Knock it off you two! He can't understand you and neither can I.

She wasted no time in stepping forward and taking the man's hand.
"Don't mind those two. It's common for Jashnagari to speak in their "house language" without realizing. Your Lorian is very good," she paused. "Though the accent could be flatter. I suppose ours is almost always worse. I'm Laela Moaina-Tale'va, Minister of Tourism. I've sadly not had the opportunity to learn much Regulingvo, us Jashnagari get a little exhausted with languages after a while. Nor have I had the pleasure of visiting your country, but I have dealt with many of your people in my line of work."

She smiled. "Namoa Palms you say? What was your full impression during your leisure stays in Jashnagar? You can imagine that such information is particularly interesting to me."
Last edited by Yuzhou on Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Founded: Feb 16, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vienna Eliot » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:28 pm

Daniel
"Our pleasure," Daniel said to Ysabel, "truly. The new Administration is elated to have such excellent attendance, and Lord knows we could never pass up an opportunity to show off Schloe. You'll have to remind me to show you two the view from the President's Penthouse balcony, if they'll let me in. It's technically a room reserved for the President of the Republic, but I've allegedly — don't tell anyone! — received permission to host guests in there. The view of Schloe is incredible, really remarkable."

Daniel took a sip of his water, hoping no one would notice that he didn't drink (he wasn't even religious anymore, but the principles had stuck with him). "He should be here tomorrow, in fact, the President. I believe he will be welcoming everybody in the afternoon."

Paola
"I'm almost jealous of you," she said. "At least you have people with principles. I swear, our negotiator is more concerned with handing out his business cards than he is with getting a working agreement. The guy's aiming to get into the private sector ASAP. You'll be able to tell if you talk to him. Daniel Robias, real piece of work."

She smiled at another passerby she didn't know. "Oh, and of course we're about to divert a few million dollars of cargo to new shipping lanes for Lord knows how long. We're embargoing Kiteahu for some reason. I should be glad they've got us here and want our advice, at least. I swear, if I have enough shots in the next hour I might be advocating for our opposition party to take over by the end of the night."

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Caras
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 5
Founded: Jul 07, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Caras » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:26 am

Aurora Nervetti
Schloe, Oceania

The car was pleasant, felt like home. In fact, it was a model that Aurora knew already. Caras had imported the same for his diplomatic Corp.
She had been with the Corp for five years now. At first, some had called it Nepotism. Yes, she was a princess, older Sister to King Ricardo I of Caras. Duchess of Nervett and everything.
But she had proven time and time again that she was not only a figurehead. She had been selected for this mission because of her own actions.
Though having a fancy title would probably help.
It was a hard task the King had given her.
Mend some wounds her brother had said.
Secure some trade deals for the kingdom we need them. No pressure there for sure.
This was a baptism of fire, not only for her but for her brother, for the new route Caras wanted to pursue.
They would need results and that quickly.
Of course, Caras had something to offer, quite a few things but they had a lot to catch up as well.
And this would be a good first step.

Oceania, she had visited the republic a few times in the past. But this was certainly the biggest job so far.
An opportunity not to miss. Not in the situation the kingdom was right now.
She was the first time in Schloe and was flabbergasted. This City was HUGE, much larger than anything she had seen so far.
It showed how long the way to fulfilling the dreams of her brother would be.

Well, this one would be a good first step. The car stopped in front of her destination. A hotel where the Conference would be held. Like the rest of the city, it screamed progress, technology, a new era.
Not that she was intimidated oh no, she just couldn't afford this right now.
She was late but it was still unproblematic, at least she hoped so.
Behind her, a second car stopped spewing out the rest of her so-called "Delegation" A secretary and a translator. She doubted that she would need the second one unless this was more than just Mu-Kal but it was good to be prepared. No clerks, no other aids, no advisors.
The king wanted to hold this small. Being a monarchy could already be problematic, best not to make it to pompous. They were here to make buisness, not to antagonize everyone.
She took a last long breath and then she entered the hotel and made her way to the reception. Knowing full well that now every step would be watched.
She was used to it after all this was diplomacy, every single step would be noted and analysed.
It was the price to pay for good international relations.
And if she went out with a few deals, it would be worth it.

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Vienna Eliot
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 422
Founded: Feb 16, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vienna Eliot » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:49 pm

The next morning...

Grand Ballroom
Plenary Session


“Without further ado,” the General Secretary said, “the President of Oceania, Vienna Eliot.” He took the stage to light applause.

“Thank you Wenza, for the wonderful introduction, and for taking on the role of General Secretary for this conference, and I too want to extend my congratulations to you and this conference, and to record my state’s appreciation for the excellent attendance we see today, looking out at this audience.

We meet here more than to establish an agreement to facilitate trade, but also to celebrate the attainment of a more equitable and effective international economic system. To welcome the contribution to a more open trading environment in goods and services that the Round will deliver, this is a historic achievement and the Oceanian government and people welcome it.

I want to record Oceania’s particular appreciation to Wenza Ottlie and Daniel Robias for their vision and their leadership, to the Secretariat for the extraordinary effort so many made over such a long period, and finally to the negotiators from all participants who have travelled great distances to be here.

The agreements which we are going to be adopting here in Schloe will result in significant trade liberalization which will assist all countries to grow and develop more strongly. This means more jobs and more opportunities for all our people. The domestic economic and trade reforms which have been taking place in a large number of participating countries during the course of this conference will be reinforced by this result.

While I don’t have much time with you here today, it is worth reiterating the reasons we gather here.

By the end of our time here, agriculture and textiles will have been brought more effectively within the rules. The largest ever tariff cuts on industrial products will have been achieved. New rules for the protection of intellectual property will have been established. Groundbreaking rules for trade in services will have been negotiated. We will have improved rules touching virtually all aspects of trade and secured more automatic dispute settlement procedures.

The birth of an international organization to oversee and mediate international trade will symbolize a newly upgraded and invigorated multilateral system. All significant trading countries will have undertaken a substantively higher level of bound commitments. I look forward to a conference that witnesses a very active participation by all countries, at all levels of development, in the process.

In sum, we should come here to seek an international agreement of vast proportions which carries within it great potential for improved economic growth and welfare.

Above all, the effectiveness of the multilateral rules in maintaining an open world trading system which we have worked so hard over the past decade to strengthen, must not be weakened by the pursuit of policy objectives in any one of these above mentioned new areas. The legitimate concerns which underpin these issues should not become the excuse for a new round of protectionism.

I further hope that, in the post-conference world, there will be an increased focus on regional trade arrangements. Oceania is strongly committed to ensuring that regional developments are not simply consistent with, but actively bolster the multilateral trading system.

Oceania believes this conference will lead us solidly in that direction. Oceania, which put a great effort into organizing this round of trade negotiations, looks forward to accepting its outcomes. And today we are pleased to continue the effort to complete the unfinished tasks ahead of us.

Thank you everyone for your time.”

After the audience was quieted down, the General Secretary took the podium again.

"I would like," she said, "to welcome heads of delegations and chief negotiators to address the conference."
Last edited by Vienna Eliot on Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lykens
Diplomat
 
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Founded: Apr 13, 2013
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lykens » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:53 am

Ysabel's smile tightened ever so slightly as the Oceanian President spoke, and she could hear Yolanda's clapping intensify and Abel's grumbling at the declaration of tariff cuts. The State Counselor had entrusted her with a job though, and he told her that it would be the heaviest lift of both of their careers. Upending decades of Lykensburgish policy for the sake of global integration. It was going to be a painful battle, but the two were in lockstep and this was the next step.

She stood up and smiled, scanning the crowded hall before beginning.

"Assembled delegations, I would once against like to thank the Oceanian Government for hosting such an important event, the first step in ensuring that the world is better connected for the benefit of the global population. The work we accomplish here today will set the stage for decades of further cooperation and relationship building, for our children, for their children, and the overall growth and prosperity for Olympia. I would further like to thank each and every one of your nations for sending these delegations, as Lykens operates a rather protective system, with the tariffs that have for decades protected the vital industries that power our economy. It has often been described as the third rail of our political system, and many politicians have seen their fortunes crumble at the hands of the tariffs and their supporters."

Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Yolanda and Abel look at each other in shock before sending horrified looks back at her.

"State Counselor Diaz has given me orders to begin the restructuring of the system that we have for the last hundred years kept sacred. We will be taking a plunge that not many in Lykens have ever taken before, a plunge that could prove politically perilous, but a plunge that will bring about a better and more connected world. Delegates, today I'm here to invite you to join us, take a plunge into a new era of increased cooperation and integration. Together we can do this together, we can bridge the divides that separate us, we can overcome the obstacles within our nations, but only if the drive to succeed is present.

Today is a new day, and we can all win something here in Schloe. But in order to win together, we must work together.

Thank you."

She sat down and immediately felt Yolanda and Abel grab each of her arms.
I'm very lazy, and try to exert the least amount of energy possible, but can somehow run a mile in six and a half minutes. Don't expect too much unless you interest me.
<Atlantica> Lykens is not a New Democrat, he's an old-style Establishment Civil Rights New Dealer
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Auhlervia
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 4
Founded: Dec 08, 2018
New York Times Democracy

Postby Auhlervia » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:39 am

Theodor Hochberg and the Auhlervian delegation had slipped into the conference late. Wandering through to their seats, strain was edging onto Theodor's face. After all, Auhlervia's Minister for Trade was here under strenuous circumstances, for he knew his was a dying government. The centre-right coalition was falling behind, both the left and the far-right gaining at their expense.

54 years of age, although he looked like he could have older, Theodor had a solid reputation as a competent ministerial performer, one who could stabilise a swaying ship or put out a fire or bring together squabbling parties. When he was offered the role of Trade, he knew it would be an ardous task. Negotiating within a party is one thing, negotiating with the nations of the world is another.

Theodor listened intently as the leader of the Lykensburgish delegation addressed the conference, announcing a plan to open her nation's economy up to the world. Auhlervia was in many respects a trading nation, but it's most prized industries had an advantaged position and they were intent on keeping it that way.

Theodor rose to speak next. He hesitated for a moment. Competing forces at home would be listening, and so he had to tread carefully.

"Delegates, Auhlervia is a nation that has always prided itself on the international reach of its produce. Whether it's our world-renowned coffee, our iron ore which helps build cities across the globe, Auhlervia has always had something to offer to the world. This is why we thank the Oceanian government for allowing us, all of us gathered here, another opportunity to make connections and advance our shared economic wellbeing. This is a truly momentous occasion, one with incredible potential to put our nations on a collective path to enhanced prosperity.

Auhlervia hopes that this conference can generate a productive dialogue, one which results in a fair and equitable outcome for those involved, which does not expose any country to exploitation, for the exorbitant benefit of another. Auhlervia is ready to explore new markets and engage with new trading partners in a collaborative manner. We expect- and believe- that all participants in this dialogue will enter into it with the same fair-minded mentality.

On a more personal note, I uhh, am aware that our delegation arrived late, and so may have missed a chance to speak to many of you individually. Please, at any point, do not be hesitant to introduce yourself to myself or any one of us. Thank you all."

Theodor sat, a brief respite before the big work ahead.

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Caras
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 5
Founded: Jul 07, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Caras » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:11 am

The Carasian delegation waited for a few minutes, listening to the speeches, gauging the tone of the conference before Aurora stepped up.
" First of all, it's good to see that so many of our neighbours are here to discuss things of importance. I have to thank our Host Oceania for inviting us to this grand opportunity.
Trade is truly of utmost importance since the beginning of time. It is one of the pillars of a modern economy and of Carasian Understanding. Now more than ever.
The Carasian government is interested in an open international trade like all other parties in this room I suppose." A small smile into the room.
" While multilateral agreements will be our main focus his majesty also authorized me to negotiate bilateral treaties if interest in there.
On a personal note, I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you during the next days."

She took her place again and locked eyes with the Auhlervian Delegation for a short second. The Republic was not that far and they probably had some interests for the machines Caras had been renowned for in the past. But that was something that could be solved later when there was more time.

Behind her she could her assistant already scribble some things down. This would be later digitalized but for fast transcriptions pen and paper were still the best method.

This was a good first step, maybe the National Holiday in Septembre would be another great opportunity. The contacts that would be established here could grow in the future.

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Zanaro
Secretary
 
Posts: 38
Founded: Jan 06, 2009
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Zanaro » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:22 pm

Kotonashi Kazuto Kurohiun, the leader of the Koto'Ara of Zanaro say among the crowded room. He had come here as the leader of his official delegation. He brought with him Mie Hiyama, and Hojiko Ryuken, both members of the Imperialis and important headers of the Department of Whispers and the Department of Labor. All three wore there dress while sure if military uniforms with half capes on their right shoulder. They stood out, as Zanarite government officials typically did. While the world was edging closer to war, it was also time to form new friendships and to make more money.

Kazuto stood up and made his way to the stage to speak on behalf of the Zanarite delegation. He walked with sharp clipped steps and with his posture exuding power. He needed to appear imposing and powerful to those in attendance.

"Greetings to my fellow delegates on behalf of the Koto'Ara of Zanaro. I am Kotonashi Kazuto Kurohiun, the monarch of Zanaro. For many years Zanaro has been seen from outsiders as a backwards country where feudalism still reigns, and people live in huts" he paused for the people to chuckle lightly. "Those of you've who've actually made the trip know that too be a far cry from the truth. We are a nation dedicated to education, personal growth and development, a nation of builders, and dreamers, and tech savants. Our nation had long been a producer of Software, Cyber Security, and clean renewable energy. In addition we are know for our advances in stealth jet technology, and high quality ships parts. Zanaro may be a monarchy, but we are not the fascists that people claim we are. No we are a nation dedicated to building a stronger, more economically united world. That is why I've come here myself, it is why I have not followed tradition and had someone speak for me to ask of you. No I have come before all of you to show you that we seek to better our trade relations, and bring an end to unnecessary terrifs and embargoes. Let the trade flow!"

After some applause Kazuto gave a small bow to the crowd and returned to his seat maintaining his dignified stance and walk. His two aids offered deep bows and he returned to his seat. Now he just had to wait till these speeches were done. There was much work to do, and it had been a while since he gave himself the freedom to do so.
Last edited by Zanaro on Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Carelia
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 18
Founded: Jul 02, 2017
New York Times Democracy

Postby Carelia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:57 am

Secretary of Commerce Jeorge Qalcis took a sip from a water bottle, then handed it to the aide on his left as he stood to move to the podium. His turn.

"Ladies, gentlemen, delegates. On behalf of the Carelian delegation, good morning to you all.

Although Carelia sits on the other side of the world from this fine nation of Oceania, we realize the significance of international trade all the same. From Lira to Meridiq to Mu-Kal and Nori, modern trade brings wealth, development, and opportunity no matter where a state might be. As a nation that sits atop one of the most highly traversed sea lanes in the world, Carelia has always understood this significance, and knows very well the prosperity that global commerce brings.

I must admit that I have little to say that might be unexpected. What I might reemphasize, rather, is our unwavering commitment to maintaining free enterprise and free markets worldwide. We would proudly offer the fruits of our industry; our vehicles, our aircraft, our ships, our manufactured goods; as well as the engineering talent that has produced these things. Carelia and Carelian businesses are also greatly interested in the commodities of your own nations. We remain open to fashioning trade agreements throughout this conference, and I look forward to working with all of you to reduce barriers and allow free enterprise to flourish."

Having closed his remarks, Jeorge basked in the applause for a few moments, then returned to his seat. Reclaiming his bottle, he took another sip of water, mentally preparing himself for the days ahead. There was a great deal of money that stood to be made.
Located in Greater Olympus. Factbooks (and everything else) are a work in progress.

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Storsnia
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 7
Founded: Nov 11, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Storsnia » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:42 pm

Pekka Makkonen and the Storsnian delegation arrived late to the conference. A particularly nasty storm delayed their flight from Farsund. The delegation was lead by Pekka, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry along for the ride were the Sub-Ministers of Mining and Farming, and a few translators. Compared to home it was quite warm and the delegation was not prepared for the temperature difference. Wehn the delegation arrived the rushed straight to the Grand Orchard. They were awe-stricken by Schloe. A city of this size was unheard of in Storsnia; the buildings were huge and and unlike anything they've seen. Soon the delegation arrived at the Grand Orchard to a conference underway.

Pekka was in a sharp black suit with a dark green tie and a Storsnian flag pinned to his lapel. His emerald colored eyes scanned the room taking note of the delegations, several of them stood out. He tried to conceal his nervousness caused by being late and this being his first multilateral conference. After listening to a few other delegations It was time for the Storsnian delegation to speak.

"Ladies and gentlemen I would like to apologize for arriving late to this very important conference. We got caught in a particularly nasty storm on our way here. I would also like to thank our hosts for putting on this wonderful conference. Storsnia may be out of the way for some of you but we have a lot to offer. Trade is very important to our economy and has been for quite some time. It has become more important recently as we try to diversify our economy. Our main focus will still be our raw materials harvested from the countryside whether it by metals, lumber or furs. However, in this new age Storsnia needs more industry to become stronger. We seek trade with all nations whether it be old partners or new friends. Thank you."

After some applause Pekka returned to his seat to listen to the remaining delegations.

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Eskeiura
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 5
Founded: Jul 09, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Eskeiura » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:49 pm

Prince-Commander Vadims Godmanis observed the opening speeches with a mixture of resigned clairvoyance and dawning horror. The dour man leaned forward, elbows on the table, supporting his head with one hand to his mouth, poised in intensive thought as he stroked his sterling beard. Occasionally he would glance over at his interpreter, rapidly translating the speech into Eskeri Sign Language for him, whenever the speakers’ volume dipped so just enough for him to have difficulty hearing them even with his hearing aids; from this distance, reading lips was too much of a challenge to be reliable.

Crows and hodags, all of them.” He thought, eyes narrowing in special contempt as the Vanquarian president in particular prattled on so proudly about ‘growth’ and ‘open markets’.

Of course, he had been expecting this. Walking into a trade conference and expecting not to hear such buzzwords and dog-whistles was just as absurd as walking into a pop concert and being surprised by the mindless, cheering throng.

During the mixer, the previous night, while he was there out of sheer political obligation, Vadims had stuck to the fringes, offering smiles and banalities, taking in the same old shibboleth ad nauseam from keen-eyed, sharp-suited individuals with glimmering smiles, like the flame the moth sees just before the end. Bureaucrats, businessmen, patricians – all seemed to want the same thing; it was a wonder they had to hold a conference at all.

Vadims knew he was in the minority here, no matter what. In fact, his very mission seemed to run counter to that of this conference. He wondered how many of these people actually embraced the beliefs they had been mandated to make manifest – was he lucky and the others were just executing unfortunate orders? Regardless, he had little patience for those who blathered on about the same handful of aphorisms, the tenets of the eternal so-called science of economics; he had little interest in the subject personally – it was the duty and honor of all leaders to call upon the advice of experts, all the same – but the dogma made him sick in a way he hadn’t been since his days in the Hospitallers, surrounded by the decrepit forms of those ridden by dysentery and Ebola far afield. Nevertheless, his mission was not to alienate the delegations and renounce capitalism – he was no Leftist. However difficult the task, his mission was to represent the protectionist and constructivist views of the Knights of Saint Aurelija, for the benefit of all mankind, while simultaneously making it clear that Eskeiura itself was open for business. In theory, should his views differ from official policy, he could ostensibly change the policy on the fly – the arm of the Prince-Commander was the arm of the Order State. Vadims wondered if considering his mission so grandiose made him a narcissist; if it did, he supposed he was okay with that – though, he wondered what sort of horrid epithet that status conferred unto some of his peers.

Finally, Vadims’s time in the sun arrived.

Approaching the podium, he placed both hands on either side and allowed himself a few seconds to scan the assembled delegates with a slow, cutting jade gaze before beginning.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” He uttered in collective greeting, his voice deep and gruff, steady yet ponderous, as a truck’s idling engine, affected by a classic Eskeri accent that came just slightly too far from the top and back of the throat to be comfortable Lorian.

“In Eskeiura we have a saying, long written down in texts of great importance: ‘Blind zeal is fire without light’.”

He paused.

“A flame that provides no warmth or light, that simply consumes and fades. What I see here today is simultaneously invigorating and disheartening –

I see the flame here, but no light.

We pontificate about tired terms like economic growth, open trade, globalization, and ignore other terms – human rights, national autonomy, ethical policymaking.

Do schoolchildren in Tamazgha, living in fearful squalor, lulled to sleep by mortar fire, care about the profit margins of the Liran oil companies that plunged their homeland into chaos? Does a Kanchakan father, blind and barely breathing after years in the cobalt mines, feel vindicated because someone in Nori can have the latest smartphone because of him?”

His voice lowered to a dim rumble.

“We hear constantly, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, when this has been proven repeatedly to be false - we just believe it to be because we’ve been conditioned to ignore the screams of the drowning and simply enjoy the silence of their passing instead.”

Vadims waited for a moment, scanning the assembly for reactions to his rhetoric, briefly wondering if he should dial it back. His goal was provocation, not alienation, however intertwined they may be.

“I speak not from a position of moral authority – clearly, Eskeiura is not free from sin. I instead call upon you all to look past the rhetoric, for but a moment, to see these endless, dogged calls for ‘free trade’, these sharp men in sharp suits railing against ‘foolish protectionism’, for what they are – the pleasant-sounding facilitation of a system of colonialism and economic violence that we are all complicit in.

When calling for international cooperation and interconnectedness, consider that there are alternatives – alternatives to killing children, to poisoning fathers, to pillaging countries. Instead of imposing a system that benefits entrenched aristocrats, work to devise policies that work for individual nations, that make this world, our world, a better place, even if it means removing a zero or two from the accounts of hoarded gold hiding in tax havens and corporate vaults.

In conclusion, Eskeiura stands against the imposition of an oppressive global system that has already ravaged Olympia with its failures; instead, we advocate for a compassionate system that recognizes the needs and circumstances of all states and peoples, for ‘life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us’, so let us not let it burn out in cold darkness.”

He took a breath.

“Thank you."

Vadims stood silently for a moment, as some began the polite applause, uncertainly and cautiously, many clearly uncertain what to make of the verbal fusillade. He wondered if this was a poor plan, on part of him and his cabinet; would there be retribution, symbolic or otherwise, for going against the grain? Would the unlikely bedfellows he was counting on emerge to support him?

Hopefully, if nothing else, he had encouraged a conversation.

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Yuzhou
Diplomat
 
Posts: 959
Founded: Jul 23, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Yuzhou » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:23 am

Aunko Bamayati

Aunko and his team found their arranged seats with ease, set in front of the rest of the Jashnagari delegation. Laela tucked down to Aunko's left, with Pashim bringing his wheelchair up next to her on the end cap.
"These chairs are uncomfortable." Laela said, adjusting her skirt.

"Feels fine to me." Pashim said.

Aunko did not join their small talk. He watched closely as the conference began. The emergence of Oceania's president was not surprising, and neither was his speech to the delegations. Aunko knew what most of them were here to do, and he also knew the hopes and ambitions the Mu-Kalese leaders of the conference had it terms of it's turnout.
After the Oceanians came the Lykensburgish, with their representative, Ysabel. Her own speech was short and sweet, but Pashim shot Aunko a look out of the corner of his eye once the woman was done.

"What?" Aunko asked.

"I don't think she was supposed to say that. Lykensburgish policy has been religiously set for a long time now."

Aunko leaned back and glanced over at the rest of the Lykensburgish delegation. From their frantic whispering, it was clear that feathers had been ruffled.
Next to the grandstand came the Auhlervians, late already and clearly stressed from the on-set. The Kanchakans were the primary competitor to Jashnagar's own tea and coffee markets, and Aunko had long prepared for the indirect duel that would likely be fought between him and their own main representative. All the same, Aunko listened in on their speech. When Auhlervia's coffee industry was mentioned, he had the fire to chime up softly.

"World-renown as bagged compost."
That comment sparked laughter from his entire delegation. More than a few side-ways glances came from other parts of the room.

After the Auhlervians came Caras. The Mu-Kalese monarchy marked itself separate from the trading powerblock already established on the continent. Which to Pashim, and thus Aunko, lent itself an interesting opportunity for expansion of Jashnagari markets that didn't come with a Mu-Kalese inspection stamp.

In between the speeches, Aunko began to rise for a drink of water when Laela grabbed his arm. His attention turned from her to the next speaker. What! his mind screamed.
"How did we miss him here?" Laela asked.

"I don't know." Aunko sat back down stunned. The representative speaking for the Zanarites was none other than the Kotonashi himself.
Zanaro attending the conference was not a surprise, as they dipped their hands in literally everyone's pot and thereby spoiling most meals crafted by the international stage. Sending their monarch, however, was on another level of sour. Aunko gripped the armrests of his chair tightly as the Kotonashi spoke.
He's forgetting to mention how all that Zanarite wealth was created breaking the backs of Southeast Nori, he muttered to himself.
When the Zanarites were finished, the Jashnagari delegation broke into a spatter of chattering.

"We'll have to be on our feet if he's going to be the face of Zanaro during the talks." Laela said.

"I know."

Aunko took a moments break while the Carelians and Vanquarians gave their addresses. From both came the same, if not more refined, support for the expansion of free trade and the success of the conference. Both nations had heavy interest in keeping the international merchant lanes open.
After they, came the Storsnians, who were even more impressively late than the Auhlervians. Despite having dealt with nasty weather coming in, they also seemed focused on obtaining new avenues of trade, as was common for the smaller players.

There was one last address before it was Aunko's turn to speak. He had suspected that the Eskeri, with their Prince-Commander attending the convention himself, to give some half-baked promises, vague formalities, and a few Beoist heresies to mask their general deviance from much of the convention's core tenants. What he got, delivered in accented but understandable Lorian — of which he was glad to not need translation — was nothing short of eye opening. He leaned forward and listened to Prince-Commander Godmanis' speech silently.

As the Eskeri was wrapping up his address, and receiving the half-hearted applause from an undoubtedly upset crowd, Aunko sat back stunned.
Everything he had planned to say during his own address had just been doused with oil, thrown out the window, and chased with a match. The applause stopped, but Aunko did not move. Too many thoughts suddenly raced through his head now. What would he say? What could he say? He sat in a trade conference in Oceania, but his mind was far away. Far away, back home in Yam'grona, back in another time. Then, he remembered.

A familiar touch gripped his hand. He looked over with lowered brows. It was Laela.
Something swam in the deep, worried brown pools that were her eyes.
"Aunko?" she said, her voice almost a whisper.
Then he moved.

Aunko Bamayati adjusted his white robes as he walked towards the podium. Arriving, he wasted little time.
"Ladies and gentlemen from the world-over, I stand before you today after a long career in the spice production industry. I was chosen to represent my nation of Jashnagar in the presence of your illustrious persons. I had planned to come before you today and parrot the typical talking points already ascribed to this convention—the superiority of free trade, the dedication to increasing globalization of markets, further cooperation between nations economically, and many more points like this. In this field, I don't believe there is exceptionally more for me to say that hasn't already been more brightly worded by my predecessors on this stage.

It is not, however, the lack of talking-point diversity that I have chosen not to deliver that original address. Instead, I must admit being greatly moved and intrigued by Prince-Commander Godmanis' address just moments ago. While I do not necessarily believe in his conclusions regarding the best course of action economically, I do share whole-heartedly his sentiments.

To better demonstrate what I mean by this, let me share you a story that is close to my heart."

Aunko paused.

"I had grown up the son of a wealthy spice plantation owner, the heir to a very old spice dynasty that had achieved large amounts of vertical integration and in turn held a large portion of the spice market both at home and internationally. Some of you may have even recognized my surname as a result. Still, it can very easily be gleaned that I grew up without much need or want when it came to things that can be bought with money. I, however, know of a woman who grew up in very different circumstances.

This woman, when she was a girl, was one of 10 siblings born to two working parents in a small town in southern Jashnagar. The father was a mail-truck driver, and worked all day. When he came home at night, her mother then went out and worked various odd shop cleaning jobs that allowed her to work during the moon-lit hours. This girl, needless to say, grew up very poor. Due to the working times of her parents, she was left responsible for all the housework that went in to caring for that many children of various ages as well as that required just to keep a household in order. The girl had all her time absorbed by the responsibilities thrust upon her by life. She had no time for friends, education, or anything other than domestic work and yet all her sacrifices did little to improve the material standing of her family. She grew up in an aging, plain house, that possessed only four rooms. It was all her family could afford. Her duties as home keeper continued well beyond even her teenage years and she cast aside the hope of any higher education than public schooling. There was no time, and there was no money.

Yet this woman had seen throughout her life the glamorous, beautiful, clean, and comfortable residences and vacation homes of the wealthy. She had seen the beginnings of the tourist industry transform her backwater town into something with actual value. With those visions, she knew what her dream was to be. To have what she never had as a child. That woman got her start working as a simple and under-payed desk clerk at a local hotel chain, and transformed herself into one of the most successful and amazing women I know.

That story has a happy ending—but what of those that do not? My point to you, my esteemed audience, is that economics both controlled and liberated the life of the woman I just spoke of. Money, or the lack thereof, determined everything about her life, as it does for anyone not born to wealthy families like I was. As Prince-Commander Godmanis implied, what is the good in lining the pockets of a few when so many suffer? I will not keep you much longer, ladies and gentlemen, but I will have Jashnagar's address today be a reminder to each and every nation attending here, that the sole point of any of these talks. Of free-trade, or otherwise. Of open-markets, or closed-markets. Of reduced tariffs, or increased tariffs, is to improve the lives and standard of living of every single possible individual currently living on Olympia. There is no other moral purpose for economics or trade under God's blue heaven.

Thank you."

Aunko ended his speech and made his way back to his seat. For once in a long time, he thought back to his five years as a monk.
I have been previously known as Apfeldonia and Thimbyrland

Oh way down south in the land of cotton...

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Volga-Dnieper
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Founded: Jun 17, 2019
Democratic Socialists

Postby Volga-Dnieper » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:02 pm

TSPR Special Representation Delegation: Alexandra A. Stamboliyskaya, Anna N. Kalafatova, Dragomir I. Marinov.

Trade Facilitation Conference was looking to be a typical high-level enterprise of bourgeois politics from the very onset. It would be unsurprising if no one from Tanaya S.P.R. would be found in the vicinity. And yet, some of the major powers of Mu-Kal and Nori were to be present on it. And to add to that, the conference was conducted in Oceania, another big fish in the pond of Taliasund. So it would be far more unsurprising if TSPR had a delegation as well.

Between two degrees of absence of surprise, the bigger one was to be "enjoyed".

In all honesty, Alexandra Stabmoliyskaya felt herself like a fish out of the water. She would prefer that Kalafatova, Narkom for Foreign Affairs, and Marinov, Narkom for Trade, handle everything themselves while she could observe them from her information center in Plamen from the comfort of her chair. But no! She blamed Kalafatova for that initiative paper that put her in the delegation by a special directive of the CEC (not even its Presidium!); the reality was slightly more complex but now totally irrelevant.

And so she was sitting alongside two of her narkoms in full formal suit she wore only on the most serious of occasions: a black greatcoat-like top and a long black dress under it. Two golden medals of Hero of Socialist Labor and Science decorated the left chest of the pseudo-greatcoat ─ a sum of her achievements.

They were earlier than the Storsnian delegation and heard the full opening speech. As it was finishing, she was soundlessly rapping her finger on the table.

"Is anything wrong, comrade Chairman?"
"I might have guessed, comrade Marinov." Chairman quietly replied. "Liberalization and tariff cuts! Standard liberal nonsense! How am I going to..."
"Presidium and our respective Commissariats knew what we're going for, comrade Stamboliyskaya." Kalafatova interrupted her. "Are you going to leave the initiative to Carelia and Zanaro?"

Chairman glanced around, mostly to calm herself. She knew nothing about Carelian and Zanarite delegations. But not her narkoms.

"There's Carelian delegation and my vis-a-vis, Qalcis." Marinov showed them to the Chairman. "And that's Zanarties with their... Oh dear."
"Yes, comrade Marinov," Kalafatova added slowly. "Their Kotonashi, comrade Chairman. Everything's serious, so I implore you to accept this bit of market chaos... Ah, another speech."

Stamboliyskaya had nothing to say.

The speech of Lykensburgish delegation was listened to in silence.
Interesting departure. Kalafatova thought to herself. Kalugin would certainly be delighted.

Then came the speech of Auhlervian minister. All three Tanayans knew the situation there.
"Perhaps we could send a carrier for a walk?" Chairman asked her colleagues.
"No, that's precisely what we shouldn't do, comrade Chairman," Marinov noted. "But we should certainly try to secure agreements with them. Otherwise..."
"..., otherwise, it's Carelia." The three were almost perfectly synchronized. And no one noted the dry comment or laughs of Jashnagari delegation.

The speech of delegation from Caras was listened to in complete silence, just as it was the case with Lykens. There was nothing to share between the delegation. The same was the case with Zanarite and Carelian delegations' speeches.

But on Vanquarian speech, Stamboliyskaya clenched her left hand resting on the table in a fist.

Duck-speakers!

As it ended, she sighed and offered no applause.
"Preposterous bullshit!" She quietly noted to her colleagues. "They don't even understand the basics of the world economy and world-system analysis!"
"Not everyone knows as much as we about modern society, comrade," Marinov replied. "Even fewer understand what they know."
"And not everyone is willing to know about the alternatives to the world system," Kalafatova added.
"Knowledge is painful. Our forefathers knew it firsthand."

Storsnian speech was welcomed way more warmly ─ just like those of Lykens and Caras delegates.
"Now that I think of it," She noted in an intermission, "I've never wondered how much attention have we paid for our dear Mu-Kal neighbors. And yet we could even sway them to our ways in a decade or so if we're nice enough."
Her colleagues agreed, just as the Prince-Commander of Eskeiura started his speech.

To be quite fair, the delegation expected nothing but formalities, common quacking and religious moralization in line with the rest. But instead, it was a departure from the common line. A departure so radical, Stamboliyskaya would love to voice it herself. And yet in what a way that departure was done! Pointless moralization, just as you would expect from a member of a religious order. "Blind zeal is fire without light"; "Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us" ─ phrases, phrases, phrases that don't get the point across!

But even that was better than Vanquaria, so Prince-Commander got his share of applause from the delegation. And Chairman looked disappointed.
Kalafatova preferred to be quiet and not to note anything at all. Marinov followed the suite.

Though she did hear a couple of sentences, she missed the last speech, trying to think of what to say herself. Finally, her time has come ─ and yet she has never felt herself so uncertain.
"Perhaps I should handle the speech, comrade Chairman?" Kalafatova asked snarkily."Though, come to think of it, I am sure your skills will represent us in the most positive light and will only support peace for our time."

"Thank you, Anna." Chairman stood up and went towards the scene. In a broad approximation that meant something between "very droll" and "get lost".
"One last request, still." Foreign Commissar was not even trying to hold a smile. "Try not to start another world war."

Chairman's figure appeared on the stage, slowly, because she was walking with a black cane. Considering how few photos of her were around and how obscure she was before her rapid ascension to the position of the Chairman, many could be seeing her for the very first time. Not like there was anything to see: a woman of average height in her fifties with long dark hair graying at the roots, her face slightly elongated. Round glasses were hanging on her neck. She was holding a cane in both hands by its stick, not by its handle.

"Ladies and gentlemen." She started plainly.

"I see many delegations gathered on this fine day. Some of the elites represented share a deep enmity towards Tanaya because of the path its people have chosen follow many years ago. But regardless of that, first and foremost, I am delighted to be standing here and I would like to thank the government of Oceania for holding this conference.

"To be quite clear, most of the things I wanted to say were already said by esteemed Prince-Commander of Eskeiura and the representative of Yashnagar. As much as the way the point was put was, in my opinion, imprecise and imperfect, their speeches were certainly moving. But they haven't said everything I wanted to say ─ otherwise, I would trust unoriginal words to comrade Kalafatova who happens to be present here.

"However, let me complement a good talk about trade and economic openness a couple of speeches before me with some thoughts of my own. I consider myself competent enough for that and I do promise that I will avoid words and phrases that are..." She cleared her throat. "... that are allergic to many of us present, let's put it this way.

"Never before have the world seen its economies tied together so closely and not even Tanayan economy ─ probably one of the most closed and self-reliant economies around ─ could avoid this. National economies now form the entire Pax Economia in itself, a system of unprecedented scale, unprecedented opportunities for enriching societies, corporations and even individual people ─ and unprecedented chaos.

"I say that it is the most free system the world has ever seen, far more free than preceding early capitalism and feudalism, let alone outright archaic extensively- and intensively-agrarian[1] economies. However, it is this chaotic, unorganized nature of the Pax Economia that brings sufferings like those mentioned by the Prince-Commander. We must never forget that, as much as some thrive from the current economic system, it is still one big, inefficient and disorderly mess."

I feel like she's hedging her best. Kalafatova thought. Great job for now.

"And yet how can we correlate that with what was called 'the moral purpose' of the economy? Doing that requires a lot of mental gymnastics ─ which I have seen a lot in works on economics. Hundreds of hundreds of pages are dedicated to correlate efficiency and inefficiency, morality and amorality, order and disorder. In fact, I hardly believe any contemporary mainstream economist... no, not even any future mainstream economist will be able to combine polar opposites and to justify Pax Economia.

"Entire regions have been transformed in a way few could possibly predict. And people in countries far away more often than not become so... delighted by that transformation, may I say, they just have to fall for escapist abstractions and methods like drugs and religion. Escapism is an unconditional surrender, its roots lie entirely in human life. And what if not the economy is the more solid and material base for human life? The question is purely rhetorical.

"This can drive anyone mad and intellectual elites along with the best of their people around the world ask themselves one question. Is there an alternative? A particular one notwithstanding, we can only patch the existing system. Sometimes quite effectively. Sometimes not. But we should never forget that, in the end, societies, social organisms are subjects of history. And they have full right to pursue their interests and advance in ages, regardless of the Pax Economica. As my mentor once said, each society has its own path in ages ─ but all of them share the same future.

"It is in our best interests, delegates, and in the best interests of the whole mankind to see that future achieved. Delegates! Let's use this moment to move together towards a better economical system, more beneficial to all societies involved. Let our deals here, at this conference, serve for better development of our countries and for the better of our people we represent. We all share the same future and this event ─ this event is a step, however small, but, still a step towards that future.

"Let us take this step."

Ending the speech, she looked at the audience, nodded and slowly walked back to her seat. Her narkoms gave her a round of applause.

I wonder if feigning idealism will raise sympathies...

[1] "Extensively-agrarian" and "intensively-agrarian" denote agrarian economies based on Asiatic and antique modes of production respectively.
Last edited by Volga-Dnieper on Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.


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