COLOMBO, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- 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.
Ravi Karunanayake made the remarks while delivering the 2017 budget speech in Parliament. He said that Sri Lanka will look to focus more on development and strengthen its economy in 2017.
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 (FTAs) with China and several other countries.
China has been playing a major role over the years in the development of Sri Lanka, particularly after a 30-year war between the country's military and Tamil Tiger rebels ended in 2009.
China has been involved in several projects in the country, including highways, airport and port, and buildings.