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Trade is a way nations can generate income and get access to goods they need. Creating a new import route costs 15 gold. (This can be modified by Inventions)
A Trade Route is import of one Trade Good from another Province, either foreign or within the nation, where it is in surplus, to one of the nation's Provinces. A nation can always import any Trade Goods it has a surplus of from its other provinces, but from foreign nations it needs to have negotiated trade access first. If two trading nations fight a war against each other, all imports between them are cancelled.
A Province can only export if that province provides a surplus, i.e, if it in total produces more than 1 of that Trade Good. A Territory produces 1 Trade Good, and for each additional 15 slaves in a settlement and 20 slaves in a city or metropolis it produces an additional +1 Trade Good.
There is no limit to how how many exports a province has, other than the amount of surplus goods it has. A nation can always import a Trade Good if it already has a surplus of it, and that gives you a smaller additional bonus indicated by the UI. Surplus in the capital province gives a special bonus on the country level, these can be found in this list. Only the capital city in each province gets the benefit of the stacked goods. The other provinces gets counted as they have access to 1 of the trade-goods. Only the province stacking bonus can be applied multiple times.
Trade generates commerce value and is affected by commerce modifiers.
When importing a trade good a base commerce value is added to the province. This value is then divided equally between the number of cities you control in the province. Each city then applies it's own commerce modifiers to the value. Importing a trade good from an other nation generates less commerce value than importing a trade good from a province that you own.
Exporting a trade good to another nation generates more commerce value than importing a trade good from another nation.
Increasing Import routes
A nation has multiple ways to get more allowed import routes to its provinces:
- each civic provincial investment adds +1 trade route (and they stack)
- each port add +1 trade route to the province
- if a province has a Metropolis then it gets +1 trade route
- inventions and national ideas can increase provincial trade routes
In addition, the capital province gets many more trade routes
- higher nation ranks get more import routes to their capitals
- inventions and national ideas can also increase capital import routes
- the commerce economy option "Trading Permits" adds +2 capital import routes