The laughter naturally wouldn’t pass through thousands of kilometers to reach Banta City.
However, it was unknown if he sensed Seveni and Viscount Leslie discussing him, Xu Yi who was in the warm hall of the City Lord’s Manor suddenly couldn’t help giving a sneeze.
This sudden sneeze interrupted Count Sean while he was reading his document and also attracted the attention of everyone in the hall listening attentively.
Count Sean put down his report and said to Xu Yi with a smile, “What is it? Chairman Xu, are you dissatisfied with the report that I currently hold in my hands?”
Xu Yi quickly shook his head, “No, no, I don’t have any objections. Only…..I suddenly felt a bit cold.”
“Cold?” Count Sean looked at the two Magic Air Conditioners on the walls of the hall and said with a smile, “These are Frestech Brand Magic Air Conditioners from your company. If you are feeling cold while they are being used, I should be asking you as the Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s chairman if there is a problem with them.”
Of course everyone knew that Count Sean was teasing Xu Yi, so they burst out into laughter.
Xu Yi laughed, “That is impossible, the Frestech Brand Magic Air Conditioners are trustworthy and definitely have no problems. It’s possible that after walking with Still last night by the river, I caught a cold from the cold wind.”
The hall was filled with laughter again.
Chairman Rank who was sitting not far away from Xu Yi said with a sigh, “Chairman Xu is young after all, you’re going out on a stroll on such a cold night. For an old man like me, I’m not willing to leave my home once it gets dark.”
Everyone said the same as they teased Xu Yi.
As the Frestech Chamber of Commerce became bigger, Xu Yi’s position in Banta City had also risen. Gradually he was treated on the same level as the chairman of the old companies of the city.
Although everyone teased him because of his age, there was no one who looked down on him.
Even chairman Morgan who had the greatest hostility against Xu Yi before, because Xu YI had reached an agreement with Marquis Jole and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce was working together with the Falcao Chamber of Commerce, he no longer revealed any hostility towards Xu Yi. Instead, now he was quite friendly to Xu Yi whether it was in public or in private.
After everyone was done with their laughter, the serious mood in the hall had relaxed a bit.
When everyone stopped talking, Xu Yi turned to say to Count Sean, “Lord City Lord, I don’t have any opposition towards this report, but I do have a proposal.”
“Oh? Let me hear it.”
Not only Count Sean, even the others stopped talking and looked at Xu Yi, revealing attentive looks.
After knowing Xu Yi for this long, everyone knew that every time that Xu Yi said something in this situation, it would have quite the influence.
If it was a proposition from him, the Lord City Lord never rejected him and it would always be something big.
“Lord City Lord, in the report that you just read, Banta City is planning to reopen the lands that were neglected before this year. I don’t have any opinions on reclaiming more farmland and increasing the grain yield, but I feel that you’ve neglected a very important problem.”
“What problem?” Count Sean asked in a curious voice.
“That is people.” Xu Yi said, “I feel that if there aren’t any related measures, there will be less and less citizens who engage in agriculture and soon no one will farm the land.”
Count Sean knit his brows, “How is that possible? Right now there are over a hundred thousand farmers outside Banta City, how could there be a lack of farmers? It’s fine if it was when we couldn’t plant anything, but now with the help of your Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s agricultural magic machines, it’s much easier to plant crops and it’s more effective, so there’s not a problem if there are fewer people. I only made this plan after considering this point. Could it be that your company isn’t planning on making agricultural magic machines in the future?”
“Of course not.” Xu Yi shook his head, “But Lord Count, you might have not noticed something. Although there are over a hundred thousand citizens outside Banta City, do you have stats showing how many of those people in villages are still engaging in farming?”
Count Sean was stunned, “Could it be that you’re saying that those farmers aren’t planting crops? What are they doing then?”
Xu Yi laughed before pointing at himself and the representatives from the various companies of Banta City, “It’s very simple, those farmers are working in factories.”
Count Sean was stunned. He looked over Xu Yi and the other company representatives before suddenly looking like he understood.
“You want to say that those farmers are working in the factories of your companies, so they’re not willing to farm anymore?”
“Of course.” Xu Yi nodded, “The average wage of working in the factories of companies in Banta City is seven gold coins a month. Even those workers who are entering factories on probation earn at least four gold coins a month. Compared to before where they only earned a few gold coins a year by planting crops, it’s clear that they have a higher salary if they enter factories as workers. If I were the farmers, I wouldn’t be willing to plant crops and choose to work in factories.”
“Un…..That is indeed a problem that I have neglected.” Count Sean thought about it with knit brows before asking, “Chairman Xu, how many workers does your company have right now?”
“Not counting the elves and dwarves, just yesterday, we went over four thousand workers.” Xu Yi raised four fingers as he replied, “When the new canned fruit factory opens, we will recruit another five hundred workers. Other than that, according to the estimates of general manager Kennard, we must recruit another thousand workers within the year.”
“That means that with just your Frestech Chamber of Commerce, you’re taking five thousand people?”
Count Sean asked the chairman of the other large companies and received pretty much the same answer.
As the Frestech Chamber of Commerce developed more magic machines, the other companies changed their production model towards industrialization.
As they produced more, they required more workers.
Just an Amrit Chamber of Commerce had hired over twenty thousand workers.
Other than the six thousand workers who still worked in the Amrit Chamber of Commerce’s general contracting, the remaining thirteen thousand workers were spread all over the Lampuri Kingdom, the Rudson Kingdom, and the Stantine Duchy, working hard in making roads.
Compared to this, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce didn’t have that many workers.
If the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, the Amrit Chamber of Commerce, the Armani Chamber of Commerce, the Sarank Chamber of Commerce, and the Falcao Chamber of Commerce were added together, these five large companies had over seventy thousand people.
Then adding the workers of the other companies together, there were over a hundred thousand people working in factories in Banta City.
Then there were the people in other industries.
If it was all added together, the people engaged in other industries other than farming were close to two hundred thousand.
After getting this number, Count Sean couldn’t help being a bit shocked.
Since there were close to two hundred thousand people in other industries, adding in the women, the elderly, and the young who couldn’t work yet, there weren’t that many people who could go into agriculture.
The population of Banta City itself wasn’t even two hundred thousand people. If there weren’t large numbers of people coming in from outside Banta City, the companies wouldn’t have such a terrifying amount of workers.
Not to mention that even like this, the companies headed by the Amrit Chamber of Commerce kept complaining to the City Lord that it didn’t have enough workers. They hoped that the City Lord could find a way to get labourers from other places.
Thinking of this, Count Sean couldn’t help looking at the report in his hand and looking at the final part of the report that he hadn’t read yet.
The subject of the conference was to report on the various workings of Banta City last year and the final part of the report was a tax revenue report for Banta City.
The representatives of the large companies were invited today because in this tax revenue report, the large companies had outstanding performances.
But after seeing the various numbers on the tax revenue report, Count Sean felt it was a bit unrealistic.
According to the final calculations of Banta City’s tax department, just last year, Banta City’s tax revenue reached a terrifying one million three hundred and seventy thousand gold coins!
It had to be known that the Lampuri Kingdom had announced that their tax revenue last year wasn’t even two million gold coins.
According to the law of turning over a third of local taxes, Banta City turned over four hundred and fifty thousand gold coins. This was close to being a fourth of the kingdom’s entire yearly tax revenue!
This was a terrifying result.
That was because Banta City’s tax revenue wasn’t even fifty thousand gold coins the year before that. Of the twenty six cities of the kingdom, it was in last place.
Now in just two years, Banta City’s tax revenue even surpassed the capital Anvilmar City, becoming the city that paid the most tax revenue in the entire kingdom!
If one looked at the sources of the one million three hundred and seventy thousand gold coins, one would find that even with the help from the agricultural magic machines, the taxes went from thirty thousand to close to a hundred thousand gold coins. But compared to the tax revenue of over a million that came from the business sector, it wasn’t even worth mentioning.
To put it in other words, the most important income from the agricultural sector could now be ignored because the most important industry was the business sector.
If this was divided again, one would find that among the companies, just the Frestech Chamber of Commerce paid five hundred thousand gold coins in taxes. If these taxes were added to the other businesses that the Frestech Chamber of Commerce dealt in, this number would be over seven hundred thousand which was two thirds of the total.
This meant that if one really calculated it, the most important industry for Banta City’s income was the magic machine industry that the Frestech Chamber of Commerce represented.
Thinking of this, Count Sean couldn’t help place even more importance on Xu Yi in his heart. He looked at Xu Yi and said with a faint smile, “It seems like the problem chairman Xu mentioned does exist and is very important. Then chairman Xu, what do you propose?”
Xu Yi replied with a nod, “I’m proposing the development of agricultural industrialization.”