China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): State of Play and a Survey of Stakeholder Perceptions in Sri Lanka

A recent study reports that the cumulative value of Chinese infrastructure investment to Sri Lanka amounted to USD12.1 billion between 2006 and July 2019 or equivalent to 14 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 2018 GDP. A significant proportion of this investment has been on building roads and expressways. Since 2009, investment from China has built an estimated 116.1 km or 68 per cent of the length of all expressways in Sri Lanka. This is followed by investments in ports, non-renewable energy, water and sanitation and urban development. This project undertakes a study focusing on two aspects: (a) reviewing and collecting information on the latest development and relevant reforms around Chinese-funded development projects under the BRI scheme in Sri Lanka; and (b) designing a survey of local communities and other stakeholders affected by selected BRI investments in Sri Lanka.

Research team

Asanka Wijesinghe
View profile
Tharindu Udayanga
View profile


The Asia Foundation