The Trade Federation was built on the foundations of honor, integrity and profit and has always strived to abide by that motto. While the rest of the galaxy collapses in on itself due to corrupt politics and frivolous wars, the Trade Federation remains unscathed and continues to deliver goods throughout the entire galaxy.
Viceroy Jacob Jansen has pledged to uphold the tenet of honor, integrity and profit by ensuring that the Trade Federation remains impartial in all matters relating to commerce and under no circumstances overlooking any client.
Despite the fact that the Trade Federation started as a small trading organization, it is now a superpower whose influence can be felt throughout the entire galaxy. With each passing day the Trade Federation solidifies its control on the systems in its jurisdiction which in turn results in many governments and factions lining up to create trade contracts with the Trade Federation. Being a fully fledged government headquartered in the Zeemacht Cluster, the Trade Federation will remain unaffected by the war torn galaxy and continue its path of success.
TFNN - Obroa System, Nouane Sector
In a short press conference held via HoloNet, Trade Federation Viceroy Jacob Jansen, High Ambassador Tovakinpi Toshikhan, and Minister of Production Salamku Derov announced the formation of a new initiative for supporting small businesses operating in Federation Space, the Trade Federation Small Business Development Program.
Commerce in Federation space has long been dominated by nationalized businesses like Dorinian Military Corps and the Techno Union, with smaller businesses - even wildly popular outfits like Hrast Holdings and Dail's Delicious Deals, LLC - not getting as much exposure to the masses. This new program is designed to extend the spirit of the fundamental principles of the Federation, Honor, Integrity, and Profit, to a wider array of entrepreneurs than ever before. Said Viceroy Jansen during the announcement, "I am pleased to be able to give back to the less-fortunate companies. A healthy economy benefits everyone and if we can support smaller companies from the ground up to be able to contribute, we all win."
According to the press release that accompanied the announcement:
"The Trade Federation has, for over a decade continually sought, and been largely successful, in supporting the activities and ambitions of many of the galaxy's finest entrepreneurs. The motives for this support of the trading community are manifold; the Federation is made up of individuals, from Viceroy to Cadet, committed to the Trade Federation's founding principles, Honor, Integrity, and, Profit. The history of the Federation since Viceroy Corbin Esco's reformation over ten years ago produced a legacy of both strong support for the galaxy's trading community, and for the provision of an environment where contract is king. Honor and Integrity of contract are the foundations of the Trade Federation's business reputation. It is a legacy the Federation is proud to bear.
Fledgling new businesses, and small commercial associations (e.g. many of the various sorts of non-faction groups) have long been a cornerstone of the galactic trading community. Committed to new concepts, ideas, and, practices the individuals at the helm of these enterprises have time and again proven their ability to rise up and conquer entire industries when adequately fueled by dedication, perseverance, and the insight of veteran investors. The Federation itself has derived great benefit from its role, and concomitant responsibilities within and towards galactic traders and new businesses. Over the long course of this active engagement, many individuals with whom we have formed a strong business relationship have subsequently taken the immense decision to bring their companies into partnership with the Federation. In a select few cases these individuals and their companies have even been purchased by the Federation or its allies with overwhelming enthusiasm.
Recognizing the success of these past investments the Trade Federation has chosen to expand, formalize, and publicize the process by which it invests in and helps to accelerate the growth and ultimate success of ambitious new start-ups and rapidly growing small businesses. As of Year 17 Day 243, we invite any entrepreneurs in good standing with the galactic trading community, the Trade Federation, and her allies, to apply for the Trade Federation Small Business Development Program."
The Small Business Development Program is designed to offer support to groups looking to establish a secure, more permanent location for their groundside business operations. Support comes from a variety of avenues, including help in finding a place to build brick-and-mortar facilities, startup loans, and preferred access to raw materials for production. Additionally, the Federation will be offering consultation services regarding optimum production and storage facility layouts. All that is required for someone to apply for assistance under the Small Business Program is to be a Federation citizen, have a clean trading and criminal record, to show an active and engaged group of employees, to submit a business plan, and to interview with Federation officials.
Reporters were able to talk to High Ambassador Toshikhan to ask about his opinions regarding the Small Business Development Program. He responded, "The Trade Federation Small Business Development Program is a projection of the core values of the Trade Federation and a reflection of its roots. The Trade Federation started as a small trading organization, that fact is often forgotten. Where dozens of new companies form every year, few survive. Business is one of the most competitive aspects in this galaxy. The Trade Federation is looking back at its roots and offering guidance to those that follow in its footsteps so that more companies, more great products and great ideas can be given the opportunity to flourish throughout the galaxy."
TFNN - Forsetti, Taanab System, Zeemacht Cluster
The Viceroy began, "It is my pleasure to announce that, after several hundred hours of work by the officials at the Federation's Department of Trade and the many programmers at the Information Technology Development Bureau, the latest improvements to the Trade Federation Market holosite have finally been completed." After pausing briefly for a sip of water the Viceroy continued, "In the nearly three standard years that the Market has been in operation we have had considerable success in attracting customers from across the galaxy. Additionally, throughout that period we partnered with many successful private companies to make a wide-range of highly sought after goods readily available. Despite the success of the market, with an average of over a billion credits a month in sales throughout its lifespan and with many satisfied customers, we nonetheless did not think development of the Market was complete."
"Continuing, "Over the years, and by taking in many of the complaints and suggestions which were made of the Market, we have re-envisioned it, and in so doing we have sought to make it far more flexible than it has hitherto been. The Trade Federation Market Network is now an open platform, no longer restricting users to purchasing solely from the Department of Trade and its manifold terms and conditions. Entrepreneurs, corporations, and governments all may now create their own shops and bazaars on the Market, and are provided with sufficient flexibility as to determine their own policies, procedures, and even who may purchase from their marketplaces. We hope this will encourage groups on all sides of the current galactic conflict, to utilize the new Market, and thereby foster greater interaction among the trading community.""
"The Viceroy gave way to Director of Trade Tanez Kalrade; the latter opened, "We are really excited to release the upgrades to our market. Not only has the site undergone a complete overhaul of the user interface, we have included a variety of new features to better serve anyone who may wish to trade using our system. Not only are third parties now capable of adding wares to the Market, we recognize the continuing importance of the CPM and the wealth of information it provides. To that extent, we have interfaced with Centrepoint Market to include pricing information on each listing. The Department, too, has adjusted some of its own prices, and many will notice a significant drop on the prices set for most wares offered by the Department. As the Viceroy commented, however, the greatest addition, and by far the most significant philosophical change to way the Department has spearheaded the 'Empire of Trade' doctrine, has been granting each user extensive control via the addition of individual, and faction, shops, with a multitude of features. Every faction - whether government or private - that is in good standing with the Federation has an account already created in our system. Any faction leaders or their designated second-in-command can contact me for access.""
Deputy Minister Winner, the final speaker, closed the conference, saying, "With the release of the new Market, the Department of Trade has further inaugurated an additional sales point to service the southern half of the galaxy. It had been remarked several times as to how the Asrat system was difficult to access for a great many individuals from somewhat more distant sectors. I am therefore announcing the location of a second sales point for the Department at the Murk system, in the Moddell sector. It is our hope that this serves as a more convenient destination for those entrepreneurs and customers scattered throughout the southern sectors of the galaxy. Finally, I would like to close this address by extending my thanks to all who made the old site the success it was, and to all those involved in bringing this revolutionary new sales platform to the galaxy. I look forward to seeing great adoption of this new sales platform as people begin to use it and come up with their own ways to use the tools we provide to bring diverse sales to the galaxy on this one, new, centrally-located sales platform!"
Director Kalrade, commenting to individual reporters after the conference closed noted, "I am excited to see how the galaxy reacts to such a game-changing market being added in collaboration with Centrepoint. I hope to see the pair of marketplaces work together to bring a new era of trading and selling to the galaxy."
TFNN - Forsetti, Taanab System, Zeemacht Cluster
In an announcement that came as a surprise to many, Olwin Froon announced that he was stepping down as Regent of the Trade Federation on Y17:149. Froon, Regent since Bub`ba Lou's retirement three years earlier, had been serving as acting Viceroy while Viceroy Jacob Jansen was on a much-needed vacation. The Viceroy issued a statement thanking Froon for his many years of dedicated service, as well as naming him Duke of Vorsia and awarding him the highest honor in the Federation: the Order of the Viceroy. Viceroy Jansen had this to say about the long-serving ex-Regent:
"After a great many years of service to the Trade Federation as a Shipwright moving all the way up to the office of Regent, Olwin Froon has left his mark on the Trade Federation. During his time he has amassed numerous awards and honors, including a Gold Seal, a Silver Seal, and the Benevolence, a Lucrehulk 3210 Battleship to act as his personal flagship. However, there is still a great honor I can bestow on this lifelong servant of the Trade Federation. An honor only awarded twice in the past...I hereby honor Olwin Froon with The Order of the Viceroy! This is not all. With the approval of the Cabinet I name Olwin Froon Duke, where he will reign over the system of Vorsia."
"Congratulations, my good friend. I am sad to see you step down as Regent, but very happy to know you are not retiring yet. The Cabinet has approved you as adviser and we will continue to listen to your wisdom and council."
Over the years, Duke Froon had served in a variety of roles in the Ministry of Production before being appointed Duceroy in Year 12. Such roles included Chief Operations Officer of Starsign Shipyards (prior to the merger between Starsign and the Techno Union), CEO of the Techno Union, and eventually Minister of Production. The Duke's organizational skills revolutionized production not just within TU but the Federation as a whole. The Duke's later accomplishments were no less impressive. As both Duceroy and Regent, he personally developed the administrative resource planning system used throughout the Federation today.
In his retirement, Duke Froon still expects to be a regular fixture in the halls of government as a Cabinet Advisor and will continue to support and develop the Federation's information systems. A fitting retirement for one who has given so much to the Trade Federation over a long and storied career.
TFNN - Moddell Sector, Endor System, Forest Moon
A little over a year ago TFNN took you to the surface of the so-called Forest Moon. We saw a planet bereft of its former glory. The surface was completely slabbed over, ocean nearly indistinguishable from what once was forest, grassland, or rocky desert. Its seas almost completely covered over by thick sheets of duracrete supported by seemingly immovable pillars. These vast grey-scale wildernesses were populated by small tribes of Ewoks and Yuzzum who had resisted the relocation plans and who lived among the storage and surplus yards of construction supplies either abandoned there when development slowed, or waiting to be shipped to Endor. Resorts which capitalized on the beautiful canopy views and forest tours were closing rapidly. A few newly constructed cities sat vacant, waiting on a residential boom that never happened, hosting only those few Ewok families who accept the government's housing vouchers. They were little better off for it. We left you with plans for a rapid and exhaustive reclamation project, a labor which would have the full focus and resources of the federal and regional governments, a massive volunteer base, and the best botanists and plant geneticists the Federation had to offer. These fast-growing small trees and other pioneer species were just taking root, making the soil habitable and able to support the larger flora that gave the Forest Moon its name and reputation.
Today the Department of Industry, the Department of Recycling, the Moddell Regional Government, and the entirety of the Trade Federation are proud to announce that the final stages of this herculean environmental endeavor are drawing to a close. On our latest tour of the moon's surface, representatives from the local government took us to the northern regions which once served as massive dumping ground for building materials. Gone are the duracrete slabs, while in their place stretches a rolling field of soil dotted with mosses, interrupted only by the occasional young shrub. These fields, we are told, were among the last to be reclaimed and so their pioneer species are still hard at work. From the observational bubble of an Eddicus shuttle during the trip southward, the true success stories of this massive reclamation project became obvious. The fields which hosted only small shrubs gave way to trees about two meters high.
"We are even seeing some of the wildlife return," Zap Morgan, chief aid to the Region's Deputy Director, tells us. "And it happened much earlier than anticipated. We had to bring in a few smaller populations from other parts of the system, but they are integrating nicely. This part of the forest has about a 1:2 ratio of genetically modified trees to natural specimens. The modified ones should reach their full height within 13 months, providing the shade which normally cloaks the forest floor and allows the humidity to rise. We are hoping this expedites the development of an ecosystem which more closely resembles the Forest Moon we grew up hearing about." We are told that elsewhere this initial canopy has already reached maturity. Morgan, however, instructs the pilot to fly us further south still, over the great sea, to a site yet more impressive.
While we traverse the sea he points out the window and mentions, "You'll recall that when we started, most all of this was covered up either by artificial floating islands or rigs of one sort or the other. When we consulted with some biologists before the deconstruction we discovered that the restoration would have to go much further than just opening up the ocean again. You see, with sunlight being blocked out and natural currents interrupted we inadvertently had favored certain species, like different algae, crustaceans, and species of fish which did not rely on migrations and currents to either hunt or mate. Naturally this threw a lot of things off balance, and while it looks normal from the surface we still have many sub-marine operations reversing that damage and making the seas a healthy place for as much of the original inhabitants as possible. This will be one of our longer projects, though we are dedicated one hundred percent to seeing it though."
Our final destination is a remote island near the southern polar regions. The moon's unique orbital pattern keeps the northern and southern poles temperate while the eastern and western extremes are covered in frigid glaciers. This island is known as Azar Eekeekeek Che, or as its Basic name Magic Tree Forest. The island is home to one of five planned dedicated Ewok cultural preserves: plots set aside for use at the sole discretion of the Ewok communities living there. While the exact terms are still being negotiated, the intended result is that these preserves would act as independent protectorates of the Trade Federation. Once established, these preserves will be closed to non-Ewok visitation unless specially permitted by the residents. This is to protect the settlements from exploitation or disruption that increased tourism had brought in the past. The Ewoks will be welcome to build settlements outside of the preserves, but those villages will be treated like any other residential area.
This island, however, is the first completed settlement and home to the oldest forest of the project. We touched down in a clearing, surrounded by the familiar verdant giants towering overhead. Their diameters were massive, as if these trees had stood for hundreds of years. Our guide, however, tells me they are only months old, the pride of the initial genetic modification projects. The cacophony from a variety of songbirds that all the guidebooks described was present, but not nearly as loud as expected. Perhaps they, too, will come back earlier than anticipated.
An envoy from the island's largest tribe soon emerged from the undergrowth, eagerly making their way towards us with a regal waddle. The one who was introduced as Chief Wick'ock was grey with black stripes. His head was adorned with a crown made out of a local predator's skull, and necklaces of teeth and vertebra gracefully hung from his neck, adding a hollow, rhythmic accent to every percussive step. As we talked by aid of an interpreter, Wick'ock exclaimed how excited he was to have been able to return to his people's traditional home and ways of life. Gifting the aide a crown similar to his own for the Region's Deputy Director, he expressed that he was grateful for the dedication the Federation had shown his people and looked forward to a long and happy relationship sharing the land. With the moist air thick with the savory aromas of a tribal dinner wafting over to our shuttle, we were ushered back onboard to begin our final leg of the trip.
From Azar Eekeekeek Che our pilot took us north over the ocean to the Forest Moon Welcome Center, a bustling historic starport town overlooking a scenic bay and natural harbor. It's once-packed streets now are sprinkled with groups of off-world tourists who wander in awe among the regal palaces, the stately government chamber buildings, the library, and the myriad of different parks, gardens, fountains, and statues that dot the city and line the streets. As one would learn from the newly constructed museum, this city is the former capitol of the Avance Coalition, a government which merged with the Trade Federation over a year ago and whose former territory now comprises the Federation's southern regions. We followed a tour group as they were shown the imposing statues of the former leaders of Avance and made their way through the former Hall of Houses and the Hall of Peoples before stopping to rest beside the reflecting pools that commemorate fallen Avancian soldiers and peace officers. While part of the former capitol building itself is open to the public, the majority of it is still used for the Federation's regional government.
The Forest Moon is still a shadow of its former self, by and large, but it is a shadow that is coming closer and closer to its form each day. Where there were once slabs of duracrete and industrial waste now roll vast fields of fertile soil, sprouting with grasses and trees that will some day in the near future inspire the same wonder they did but a few generations ago.
TFNN - Taanab System, Zeemacht Cluster
Celebrations were in order on Day 244 of this year as citizens joined in marking the six-month anniversary of the Trade Federation House System (TFHS). The new House System was championed by former First Seat Navik Ikron as Avance's largest single contribution to the Federation in the merge, and was seen by many as a sign that the two governments and cultures were truly merging into something new instead of one swallowing the other whole.
The TF House System's success is a reflection of the success of the merge itself. The TFHS has quickly become a much-loved part of life for many in the Federation, and the Houses have already begun to make noticeable contributions to Federation society. The House System has it roots in the Houses that comprised most of the former Avance Coalition where seven Houses (5 major and 2 minor) oversaw different sectors of the former Avancian territory and helped promote and sustain unity as a Coalition while preserving more regional cultures. The TFHS is made up of six Houses: three former Avancian major Houses and three newly founded ones. The foundation of the new Houses vary from informal fraternity among workers to revivals of ancient cultures in Federation space.
To be recognized as a House each group had to submit an application describing in detail what their intended contribution to Federation society would be. They also had to align themselves with a Ministry to illustrate both cultural continuity and innovation. These applications were reviewed by a House Review Board made up of heads of state taken from both former Avancian and Federation populations. Once approved, Houses were put on a probation period to be observed before legal rights were granted them.
One notable change from the former Avancian system is that each House associates themselves with only a system and not a range of sectors for which they are responsible for enriching and stewarding. Any citizen is permitted to apply for House membership, and many see it as an invaluable aid to professional and philanthropic growth. Houses provide a unique networking opportunity and a crucible for those with common interests who may be spread out over various departments and systems. Each House, however, has their own unique admissions process reflective of their identity.
Long seen as the short-track to prominence and success in government offices, House Soyak-Ikron is the largest and most recognizable carry-over from the former Avance Coalition. As a Federation House it continues its reputation as a breeding ground for the who's who for Federation politics and power players. The other continuing Houses are House Asclepius, which centers around the medical arts, and House Valeo, the traditional Avancian center for the learned, the literati, and the intelligentsia. The newly founded Houses are equally as diverse and significant.
House Jade sees itself as the formal embodiment of the tradition of fraternity and levity among the Department of Logistics pilots and staff. It centers around jokes, pranks, and the finest fermented beverages they can find. Taking a page from the former Avancian House Vigihan (which formed the Kingdom of Elysia), House Systkin centers around the Federation pillar of trade and financial prowess. It offers support for new businesses, investment opportunities, and provides a training ground for the future business tycoons. The newest House, House Arkoh, is a revival movement for the Arkanian-Sith culture and promotes cultural understanding and funds research in any academic fields, offering an informal challenge to the old-guard of House Valeo. Among its core academic interests is the Arkanian tradition of cloning and a reintroduction of the long-extinct full-blooded Arkanian species.
Each of the Houses has something different to offer to the prospective member. The Federation encourages any Trade Federation Citizen that would like to know more about the Houses or to apply for membership to contact the House leader(s) on the Federation holosite or directly via datapad message.
TFNN - Endor System, Moddell Sector
The lush, verdant forests from which the Forest Moon got its name have become famous galaxy wide. Home to both the Yuzzum and the Ewok peoples, the breathtaking majesty of the moon was chosen years before to host the capital of the Avance Coalition as if the richness and fertility of the jungles and the residents who prospered alongside and not by or in spite of the untamed expanses could say more about the former government than could any palace or diplomat.
For years it silently circled the planet Endor, broadcasting its bold, unchallenged growth and glory on behalf of the whole Coalition. Visitors today, however, find a much different story.
If one were to travel to the famed Forest Moon today, you'd find it a forest in name only. The growth of the former Avance Coalition brought with it expansion projects to the capital, and with projections of growth in the upswing before the Recession even more land was cleared and slabbed to prepare for the building and infrastructure to support the promised prosperity.
Many resorts, seeking to allow more of the public to experience the splendors sought to expand their grounds and locations around the moon as well. But it was not to be. The Galactic Recession found the moon cleared and mostly slabbed over, with many cities and settlements in various stages of completion.
The many public works projects aimed to stimulate the economy focused on the planet Endor, and made use of the open space on the moon for material storage and recycling foundries. The condition of the moon's surface declined rapidly.
By the time the problem was brought to the attention of the former Avance government who had been scrambling to address the myriad effects of the Recession, internal security disputes, and assisting allies in combating terrorism, the problem's magnitude had surpassed the funds and energy needed to combat it effectively.
Paul Luz was approved by the Hall of Houses to assemble a team of Avance Rangers and scholars to study the effects of rapid urbanization on planets and estimate the scope and trajectory of currents trends as the majority of programs aimed at ending the recession hinged on public works and infrastructure expansion. His efforts, however, ran parallel with the plans to merge the Coalition with her closest ally, the Trade Federation. Luz was only able to assemble his team and start planning their methods before the Hall of Houses that had approved and sponsored his efforts had ceased to be, dismantled and assumed into the new regional government of the Federation.
TFNN - Endor System, Moddell Sector
In a joint press conference in front of a veritable army of Trade Federation News Network and Avance News Network reporters, Avance Coalition First Seat Navik Ikron and Trade Federation Viceroy Jacob Jansen released a simple statement: "The Avance Coalition will merge with the Trade Federation."
After a moment of stunned silence from the assembled press corps, an unintelligible flurry of questions rained forth upon the two leaders. First Seat Ikron calmed the crowd, saying, "This is not being done out of whim or personal gain. I’m not receiving any service, technology, or monetary exchange for doing this. The Trade Federation is a group much like our own. We all are friends and work well together as leading bodies within the Galactic Concordiate. Our combined governments will form one super government capable of doing so much more than just either of us could accomplish ourselves."
Viceroy Jansen, nodding, added: "This is a huge move. No, it's a colossal move. When I was first approached by Navik, I was pleasantly surprised. The gravity of such a merger is overwhelming. But we have such a strong infrastructure in place, we are able to incorporate every department and member within our own with little trouble. This merger is a unique chance for all of us. A once-in-a-lifetime chance. Together we can accomplish great heights that before were never even imagined. To our allies and future allies: we look forward to working with you on our new joint endeavors."
Despite another barrage of questions, the lectern from which the two leaders were speaking was rolled off-camera and a table and two chairs were brought in. First Seat Ikron and Viceroy Jansen sat down and proceeded to use a huge varactyl quill and ink to sign their names to the treaty that would not only merge two governments, but also result in other changes in Avance space.
Rendili StarDrive, Centurion Arms, and Alpha Medical Corps will be joining the Trade Federation family. The Wraiths mercenary group, formerly owned by Soyak-Rainer Enterprises, have been given full control of the Trilon sector and will be an autonomous entity. The Cerean Quadrant, Sombure, Yushan, and Gendius sectors will be under control of King Arklari Clise and the newly-founded Kingdom of Elysia, reformed from the Harbingers and operating both Czerka Corporation and Golan Technologies. Both the Kingdom and The Wraiths will remain on friendly terms with the Federation, and will work closely together to defend the territories from threats to the safety of the citizens living there.
As for the reasons for the merge, political pundits across the galaxy have posited many theories. The one that fits best suggests that the Galactic Concordiate served as the backdrop providing a mutual political and cultural growth for both the Avance Coalition and the Trade Federation. Several members of the Federation government joined the House system and Avance got involved in the Federation Market, further bringing the two peoples together. Both sides were dedicated to the maintenance of peace through neutrality, supported by strong economic policies. Seeing the success of the GC, talks began to address how the cause for neutrality and prosperity might be furthered by working closer together and establishing a unified front to confront the encroaching tides of war, the increasing boldness of piracy galaxy-wide, and the galactic recession. After much discussion, a merge grew as a popular option and was soon taken to heart by the leadership to consider in greater detail.
TFNN economic analyst Moradin Kwyntehst pointed out that a key feature to watch is the availability of technology that was formerly restricted or exclusively offered by Avancian companies like Rendilli and Centurion Arms now is more readily available to be integrated in Federation defense fleets and has less obstruction to being more available to the public in the Federation market. This, of course, only increases the Federation's economic influence as more equipment will be sold exclusively through their markets, giving them complete control over the markets for those items or weapons. Additionally, an internal announcement released to Federation personnel obtained from unnamed sources shows that Federation salaries and fringe benefits will be increased to more closely match those enjoyed by those who served Avance before the merge.
Early congratulations on the merge came in from a close ally. Hapan King Zayth Kadrim sent the following by Holonet: "Avance Coalition became known for being an economic powerhouse, striving towards recognition as a mediator on the galactic stage, with its Houses forming the undercurrent of its distinct culture. Although it is regrettable to see its time coming to an end, without a doubt they have found the right partner in Trade Federation to entwine their futures with. As such Hapes welcomes the strengthened hand of the Trade Federation, and we wish them all the best with their efforts of bridging both the physical distance and the cultural dissimilarities between the two peoples. We will continue to follow with interest how the diverse possibilities offered by this merger become utilized by the parties involved."