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Jessica covers Australia's technology start-up scene, writing on breaking news and trends in entrepreneurialism, media and marketing. She was previously named Australia's best New IT Journalist for 2011.

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Crown execs fly in for Packer’s Sri Lanka casino bid

Published 06 August 2013 11:21, Updated 07 August 2013 06:52

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Crown execs fly in for Packer’s Sri Lanka casino bid

Sri Lanka has been eagerly encouraging foreign companies to set up shop and James Packer’s Crown is proposing a casino and 400-room luxury hotel in the country’s capital Colombo. Photo: Bloomberg

Two of James Packer’s most senior executives have flown to Sri Lanka to argue for favourable tax and regulatory treatment for Crown Ltd’s proposed $US400 million ($448.9 million) Colombo casino.

Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie and chief financial officer Ken Barton arrived in the island state’s capital on Monday to meet Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Sarath Amunugama. It is the executives’ first visit to Sri Lanka and suggests a lift in negotiations for Crown’s proposed casino and luxury 400-room hotel.

The Crown executives are understood to have inspected the potential development site and visited other Colombo casinos during their one night in the city. The tour also included a visit to the local arm of Australian hospitality training provider William Angliss Institute. A Crown spokesman confirmed the visit but said no “final agreement has been reached” and discussions with government and local partners were continuing.

After emerging from a three-decade civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka has been eagerly encouraging foreign companies to set up shop. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka has been tasked with attracting $US2 billion of foreign investment in 2013. In the first six months of the year just $US430 million had been invested but the agency is hoping proposals such as Crown’s would help reach that goal.

Read the full story at The Australian Financial Review.

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