The Galactic Agreement for Free Trade Advancement (Abbreviated to GAFTA. Known as Woosabonugabo in Starspeech) is a longstanding agreement created by the Kuhneebo Conglomerate and signed by various galactic powers to facilitate trade between nations. It involves the creation of Turbolanes - well-traveled trade routes between the trade centers of the galaxy in which each nation patrols the routes in its own territory. GAFTA does not eliminate tariffs, but restricts the establishment of tariffs on various core commodities.
Membership in GAFTA comes in two categories, client and preferred client. Clients merely allow turbolanes to cross through their territory and patrol their own territories, meeting the basic requirements for membership. Preferred clients additionally patrol international territory between their section of a turbolane and the midway point, escort high-priority transports, and commit to handling piracy incidents in their sections of the turbolanes by using either military force, mercenary contractors, bounties, or a combination thereof.
All members of GAFTA with preferred client status receive additional benefits when trading with each other. The Kongo offers discounts on transportation services between preferred clients, as well as offering higher priority than standard clients for time-sensitive deliveries.
The creation of GAFTA also stipulated the creation of Turbolanes that would connect trade hubs across the galaxy safely and efficiently. Primary turbolanes are the longest routes that connect major trade worlds. Secondary turbolanes connect the primary lanes to each other, and are typically routed through worlds that trade frequently, but do not have sufficient trade needs to be placed on a primary lane. Tertiary turbolanes are used to connect secondaries, as well as to reach sectors with minimal trade needs.
Some of the more well-known turbolanes include:
- The Lonesome Road: A trade route that traverses the southern circumference of the Angel Sector, it originates in Free Minds Society and Norb space, running south-east through Amalah and He-Tai territory, and then circles back up to Jiptohri and Solarian territory.
- The Spine: Connecting the northern planets of the galaxy, the Spine connects from the Nation of Zehir in the east, all the way to the Verandi Empire
Ashkathi Union?in the west.
- The Spear: Running through the center of the known galaxy, the Spear connects Earth, the Solar Republic, Verandi Empire, Norb Network, Sirian Union, and Rakashian Consulate via a relatively straight path.
- The Plunge: Connecting the eastern nations, the Plunge originates in Zehir space, and heads south through the United Stars,
Izera,?, the Triple Alliance, the Bolaemia Bureaucracy, and the Jiptohr Empire.