News analysis

RCEP trade pact shows that Asean is developing its own brand of leadership

NONTHABURI (Thailand) - A 16-country mega trade pact would have made a fine present for 52-year-old Asean, but it was not to be. On Monday (Nov 4), Thailand's hope to announce the preliminary conclusion to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership while it was hosting the Asean summit were dashed by a very reluctant India.

Naysayers will add that to the string of Asean's perceived failures as it struggles for relevance in a tough neighbourhood riddled with complex rivalries.

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