Packer warns politicians on Asia message

With an election looming, billionaire James Packer has warned both sides of politics against sending xenophobic messages to the region that will define our future - Asia.

With an election looming, billionaire James Packer has warned both sides of politics against sending xenophobic messages to the region that will define our future - Asia.

In a speech to the Asia Society, Mr Packer warned of the "destabilising" effect elections can have by sending "the wrong message" overseas.

"If I can urge our political leaders across all parties to keep in mind when it comes to the issue of foreign and domestic affairs, the rhetoric we casually throw around is keenly followed throughout the region," Mr Packer said.

"Some of the recent public debate does not reflect well on any of us. Even worse, it plays on fears and prejudices and is completely unnecessary. We are all better than that. To succeed in China and Asia we must be better than that."

The government and the Coalition have traded blows in recent weeks over the increase in overseas workers on 457 visas, and arrival of boats carrying asylum seekers.

Mr Packer has extensive interests in Asia through Crown Limited.

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