Midwinter's fortunes are based on trade and it is one of the most important trade centres in the New Kingdoms. Midwinter's arch-enemy, Zale, styles itself as the greatest country of the south but Midwinter is trying it's best to oust Zale from the top spot.
Midwinter has controlled the metal and stone trade from the Stonelands for centuries and is the basis for Midwinter's wealth. It's southern ports are also the first and last major stopping points on journeys to and from the eastern lands.
Trade in Midwinter is controlled by the Trade Guilds and the Merchants Council. By law, shop and stall owners must be registered with the Merchant's Guild before they can trade in the city. In reality, many tinkers and market-stall holders are not registered with the Guild. There are far too many traders in the city for the Guild to effectively police everyone.