Brunei. The world's largest free trade agreement, per
capita, entered into force on January 1 between China and
the six ASEAN members Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. (The ASEAN also
includes Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.) The agreement
means that import duties will be abolished on 90 percent of
the commodities in the free trade zone. The free trade area
between China and the Southeast Asian countries is the third
largest in the world after the EU and US NAFTA, and the
largest in terms of population. About 1.9 billion people
live in the area.
has a population of 428,962 (2018). Brunei's one-ruler, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, divorced his
third wife in June after five years of marriage. Azrinaz
Mazhar Hakim, who was a TV journalist before marrying the
Sultan, lost her royal titles as a result of the divorce.
The former couple has two children in common. The Sultan has
another ten children he has had with his two former wives.
The first wife is still married to the sultan.