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Economy

Southeast Asia leans on new taxes to plug coronavirus shortfalls

Digital services and tourists targeted to help fund pandemic relief

Wat Po temple in Bangkok: Thailand is weighing a new entry tax for foreigners once tourism picks back up.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Southeast Asian countries have turned to new and higher taxes to offset falling government revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic, walking a fine line between securing funding and further straining economies.

The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the Southeast Asian economy, squeezing government revenues across the region. The Philippines, for example, suffered an 18% drop in tax revenue on the year in the January-April period.

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