Sri Lanka investment approval for Crown in final stages: minister

June 12, 2013 (LBO) – Investment approval for Australian magnate James Packer’s Crown group for a joint venture mixed development in Sri Lanka is being finalized and details will be presented parliament soon, investment minister Lakshman Abeywardena said. If the promoters wish to shift a casino to the project he said that was between the partners and nothing to do with approving a mixed development.

Wijeratne said last week that he intended to shift one of his casinos to the project and the total investment in the project may reach 400 million US dollars.

Abeywardena said the project will get a 12-year tax holiday, less than the 15-years given to a high profile hotel in Colombo to be built by Hong Kong based Shangri La.

Abeywardene said the opposition was saying that there were not enough large investors coming to Sri Lanka but when a high profile investor like James Packer came, various negative statements were made which could scare them off.

The 350 million US dollar investment with a Sri Lankan partner envisages a luxury hotel with 430 rooms and qualifies for floor investment to be listed as a strategic investment qualifying for special investment relief.

Under Sri Lanka’s strategic development law, such incentives have to be