At max the calculator shows this infra cost reduction:
10882 -> 3697 (4019 w/o interstate wonder)
(-63% total w/o wonder, -66% w/ wonder, i.e. triple the bang for the buck)
Being the perfectionist type I am... And math degree... I suggest you read this for optimum performance in growth of you nation.
Below after my thoughts I post a very usefull piece of advice.
(I realise not everyone enjoy it with me to play all games calculating everything like that, but it is still nice to know for everyone. And I tell you 1st hand - to be able to estimate damage done with less than 5% deviation from this stack of creatures to that stack of creatures was very helpfull for me back than in King's Bounty, Heroes I, II, III ))))
This is a very good post that I found on Ragnarok forums, about the benefits of trade combos.
Made me think that my set (No.10 in here) is not the best to start with.
And _might_ be not the best at all. But for high infra it is prolly still better (IMHO).
For newbies the set that they say is the best is really about the best.
Mind you, Snikt has exactly the same set as the one they called best.
And what they didnt tell you is that the bonuses that do +%population do not stack as sum, they MULTIPLY.
Not sure about the clinic/hotel, but all others do.
What that means is:
Snikt gets 3000 population for same money spent on infra, where the regular Joe (w/o all the bonuses) gets only 2000 for that same infra, with same infra level and all other things the same.
Like... I get 81population per 10 infra where the basic is 75 (+%8 from Fish).
Xpt I dont think right now that you really should aim for Spices and Fast food, since that only adds 4 happiness. Might be better have one less bonus resource, but have the benefits of Uranium+Fish.
It 'd be the same for Water, if we didnt get aid chains and high boosts in infra while land has to grow naturally (per Snikt), thus you need Water to avoid problematic population density.
And dont forget the calculator they gave the link to (I wanted to create one myself, but that good thing is already there).
And now the candy, I mean, the post:
Group: Diplomat of NATO
Nation ID #145983
(NOTE: where it is listed under each set, [for example, Infra/Pop], the first abbreviation is the main affect of that resource set. The other following abbreviations denote the secondary effects)
I always refer to this as the complete solution when recommending trade strategy.
My take on the logic is to increse the Max infra per day
A) There are 11 resources (Aluminum, Marble, Iron, Lumber, Water, Wheat, Fish, Cattle, Pigs, Sugar, Spices) which have good to excellent basic benefits and also combine to form the bonus resources Construction, Beer and Fast Food. [Fish is not in any of these bonus resources, but is excellent in its own right]
If you have at least one of these 11 as a native, then you should go for this set. If both of your natives are in this set, then Gems is the next best resource to add (I would add that Wine and Silver are only slightly behind), except at very high infra, when Uranium is superior (due to its upkeep reduction benefit as well as its income).
If neither of your natives are in this 11, then there are some other bonus sets which may produce optimal results.
There are 10 resources (Aluminum, Marble, Iron, Lumber, Water, Wheat, Fish, Rubber, Coal, Oil) which together enable the bonus resources of Construction, Beer, Asphalt, Steel and Automobiles [in sort Autos + Beer, since Auto requires the others. Again Fish is outside the bonuses, but is almost always a "must have" due to its benefits].
For anyone without one of the 11 and also without Lead as a native, then the Autos + Beer combo is best. The last two slots are filled (in order) with Cattle and Gems (or Uranium for very high infra), if possible.
C) If you have Lead and a non-eleven, then there is an 11 resource set (Aluminum, Marble, Iron, Lumber, Water, Wheat, Rubber, Coal, Oil, Lead, Gold) which provides for Construction, Beer, Asphalt, Steel, Autos, Microchips (+ Scholars once your literacy is high enough) and Radiation Cleanup (in short Rad Clean + Autos + Beer, since these require the others). This combo + Fish (if possible) is the best option with this native set. The extra benefits of this 7 bonus resource set are not worthwhile unless you start with Lead because of the poor basic benefits of Lead.