Sri Lanka seeks a strong role in China’s Belt and Road initiative

Colombo, Nov 10 (IANS) Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said on Thursday that his country will look to have a strong role in China-proposed Belt and Road initiative, media reported.

Karunanayake made the remarks while presenting the 2017 budget in parliament. He said that Sri Lanka will look to focus more on development and strengthen its economy in 2017, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Belt and Road initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road and aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.

The Finance Minister said that Sri Lanka has already been working on free trade agreements with China and several other countries.