Asian nations agree free-trade zone

ASIA - South East Asian nations and China have agreed to set up the world's biggest free-trade area within 10 years.

The area would cover a market of nearly two billion people.

The agreement was reached during talks in Brunei between the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rongji, and the 10 leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).

China's economy is growing fast, and trade with South East Asia is worth $40bn a year and rising.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, ha