Editors: Mahani Hamdan, Muhammad Anshari, Norainie Ahmad

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $79
Printed Copy: US $54
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-981-5123-23-4 (Print)
ISBN: 978-981-5123-22-7 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2023
DOI: 10.2174/97898151232271230101


The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free-trade deal between 10 ASEAN member states and Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. It is the world's biggest regional trade deal, and it will create the world's most populous trade area. This edited collection features 10 contributions from multidisciplinary authors and is meant to share research and best practises on different aspects of the RCEP. It presents research projects that contribute to the discussion about the theory, lessons learned, and business strategies, to give a better understanding of the RCEP and how it can shape policy in member countries. The themes in each chapter can also serve to evaluate reports on the RCEP's overall progress. The book covers a broad range of subjects, including an overview of the RCEP, digital economy, peer-to-peer lending, international e-commerce, big data, ICT readiness and much more.

This work is a key source of information and reference for RCEP development for academics and researchers (in economics and political science), government and trade organisations and policymakers interested in the RCEP. Members of the general public who want to understand debates surrounding the RCEP will also benefit from the information provided.


General readers, academics, economists, political scientists, policymakers, government and trade organizations.


It is remarkable how little attention the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has garnered around the world, given the potential that this regional economic pact possesses to propel Asia into a new era of economic leadership. The 15-member countries that are signatories to the RCEP already host about 30% of the world's population and generate 30% of global GDP. Just what might transpire in regard to economic, social and environmental change in this important region should the RCEP foster the economic integration that it aspires to achieve is a deeply contextualized and nuanced question that lies at the core of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Potentials and Challenges.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Potentials and Challenges is a vanguard volume that puts forth one of the most comprehensive analyses of the largest economic alliance in the world. The analysis contained in this volume benefits significantly from the diverse expertise and perspectives of the co-authors deftly assembled by esteemed co-editors, Dr. Mahani Hamdan, Dr. Muhammad Anshari, and Dr. Norainie Ahmad, all hailing from the University of Brunei Darussalam.

A foundational theme of the book centers on exploring the impact that the RCEP will have on catalyzing innovation in the region and what that might mean for national economic development and economic inclusiveness. Many of the contributing authors share a belief that connectivity and e-commerce alliances stand to yield cross-border successes that were perhaps not possible prior to the Internet age. Interconnectivity enables a region that was once solely focused on a competitive race to the bottom to create a shared foundation upon which technology and big data can be leveraged by the region`s entrepreneurial SMEs to produce disruptive innovations that are commercialized through new grassroots financial models. While most of the contributing authors are optimistic about the potential of the RCEP, all have also been careful to remind the reader that inequalities in the region remain and historical animosities potentially hinder optimizing the impact of this important economic pact.

Indeed, the final two chapters explore two sub-themes that regional economic development experts are particularly concerned with: the influence of China and the need to ensure greater social inclusiveness and equality when it comes to catalyzing economic development. The manner in which China integrates its economic development strategy with the RCEP will arguably have the greatest influence on political dynamics in the region. Friend or foe; competitor or collaborator? Either way, China`s economic strategy will both influence and be influenced by the RCEP. Similarly, economic growth that does not promote economic inclusiveness and stimulate enhanced social governance stands to engender the same animosities that have scuttled previous attempts at economic integration in the region. An equitable sharing of benefits will play a key role in determining whether or not the RCEP improves well-being within member nations and enhances goodwill between member nations.

All of these important questions regarding the potential of the RCEP to guide the Asia-Pacific region to a new area of harmonious, collaborative, equitable and sustainable economic development are taken up by the authors of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Potentials and Challenges. For anyone wishing to delve into the nuances associated with the RCEP, this book is the definitive starting point.

Scott Victor Valentine, PhD
Professor of Regenerative Planning and Circular Economy
Asian and Oceanian Studies Institute
Kyushu University