By Asia News Network
The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho expects to receive Canadian investment in high-tech agriculture so that local staples can meet stringent requirements in some foreign markets.
During a working session in Can Tho with Canadian General Consul in HCM City Kyle Nunas, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of the city Truong Quang Hoai Nam said the Mekong Delta region and Can Tho City in particular hold enormous potential in agricultural products, however, limitations in technologies in post-harvest, processing and packaging mean local goods have failed to enter many choosy markets.
As Canada is a strong supplier of modern machines for production and processing of agro-fishery products, Can Tho hopes to receive the General Consul’s support to lure Canadian investment in the field.
"Can Tho City welcomes Canadian infrastructure projects, especially warehouses, roads and bridges, to serve local agricultural economic development," he said. – Viet Nam News
State revenue grows slowly as commodity prices stall
The Indonesian government has been urged to find ways to increase state revenue, which grew only 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, much lower than the 12.6 per cent growth in the corresponding period last year.
The main reason for the slow growth was the decrease in tax revenue, which grew only 6.7 per cent in the first quarter, far lower than in the first quarter of 2018, which was 10.3 per cent.
Non-tax revenue also declined 1.4 per cent from the amount collected in the same period last year, which grew 22.1 per cent yoy.
Commenting on the data, Centre for Indonesia Taxation (Cita) executive director Yustinus Prastowo said it was difficult for the government to achieve this year's state revenue target of 1.56 quadrillion rupiah (US$108.06 billion, Bt3.404 trillion).
He pointed to the stagnant prices of commodities, which were major export products, as one of the reasons for the slow growth in state revenue.
Yustinus said one of the ways for the Taxation Directorate General to boost state revenue was to scrutinise taxpayer data. He said the tax office should map out taxpayers by checking the data in their tax annual returns (SPT) and tax amnesty documents. – The Jakarta Post
New acquisitions drive ComfortDelGro's earnings
Powered by contributions from new acquisitions, Singapore's transport giant ComfortDelGro posted a 6.2 per cent increase in first-quarter earnings to S$70.4 million (Bt1.621 billion) for the period ended March 31.
The Singapore-listed group with operations in China, Australia and Britain saw revenue rising by 7.8 per cent to $947.3 million for the first three months.
Operating expenses crept up by 7.3 per cent to $839.9 million, with the spiral reined in by lower premises cost.
Earnings per share grew from 3.06 cents to 3.25 cents, while net asset value per share stood at 123.56 cents, up from 120.7 cents as at December 31, 2018.
Compared with the previous corresponding quarter, margin before interest, tax and depreciation improved marginally from 22 per cent to 22.5 per cent.
The group said on Tuesday that revenue from its public transport division grew by 11.6 per cent to $684.9 million, driven mainly by contributions from new acquisitions in Australia and Britain, higher fees earned for its government bus contracts, and higher ridership and higher fares from its rail services in Singapore. – The Straits Times
Casino boom pushes Pagcor remittance to record high
The Philippines' gaming regulator turned over its largest annual dividend to the national government for its 2018 operating year on Tuesday, thanks to the strong performance of both private and government-run casinos, the agency said.
In a statement, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp(Pagcor) said the 16.17 billion pesos in cash dividends it turned over to the national treasury is the “highest one-time remittance, [which] almost matched the 17.16 billion peos cumulative cash dividends from 2011 to 2017.”
Pagcor chair and CEO Andrea Domingo described the record high remittance – which the government uses to fund its social, educational and poverty alleviation programs – as “just the tip of the iceberg”. – Philippine Daily Inquirer