Will Sri Lanka become the next property investment hot spot in Asia ?

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Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka has had a property boom. With prices similar to those of Thailand and Bali about 15-20 years back, the stunning landscapes, heritage architecture, and incredible wildlife makes this small island of just over 20 million people a very attractive destination for travel and investment.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Board to us that the arrivals to the island are expected to increase to 2.5 million by 2013. Sri Lanka has insufficient rooms to accommodate this tourists and investors. villas and hotels will need to be made to meet the expected greater demand.

The south coast of Sri Lanka Galle to Rekawa has been very popular with investors due to a number of factors such as the new highway from Colombo to the south which will reduce the travel time down from four to one-and-a-half hours.

Other Plans have also been confirmed for a new international airport and harbour at Hambabtota.

The opening up the south east coast has resulted in sharp increases in the price of beach land around the Dikwella and Tangalle areas, the latter being the location of the well known Aman Resort.

So how can you buy or invest in property in Sri Lanka ?

Since the government has imposed tax on foreigners buying property in Sri Lanka in their own name has restricted investment in the past ten years, Yet it is possible to buy property via a corporate structure which allows benefits to investors planning future tourism related projects.

A BOI company which does require a minimum investment of US$500,000, allows the Company Director to acquire a Resident’s Visa plus tax exemptions on the import of raw materials. For investments below US$500,000 a lawyer or accountant familiar with the real estate laws can advise.

Property can be purchased in Sri Lanka Freehold after the setting up of a SIERA account through which funds are remitted from overseas. As there is no capital gains tax in Sri Lanka on Property and the initial investment and profit can be repatriated through the SIERA account.

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