BRITISH companies spoke highly of China's intelligent development and hoped to expand the potential of the Chinese market, the Global Times learned at the 2023 World Intelligence Congress (WIC).

All the technologies are in place. And various local companies, not ones that are recognized globally, are developing technology that is better than what you can see elsewhere, Andrew Starforth, general manager of the China division of Silverstream Technologies, told the Global Times on Thursday on the sidelines of the 2023 WIC.

"We are in a lucky position that we've got a technology that really fits with a lot of the drive where China is going, and we're introducing the technology at the perfect time to really open up the market," said Starforth.

Silverstream Technologies, a London-based company, has developed and pioneered the leading air lubrication technology for the shipping industry, which will help with the decarbonization process.

Starforth revealed that 70 percent of their current orders are coming from Chinese shipyards.

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"Because of the size of that, we set up our [Shanghai] office in 2021. China will be a very, very big market," said Starforth.

Silverstream Technologies is only one of the British companies participating in the WIC hoping to expand in the Chinese market. A UK delegation with more than 90 businessmen from 34 companies has come to the WIC, the Global Times has learned.

Chen Xuesong, chief executive officer of Oxsight China, a company aimed at transforming the lives of visually impaired people, told the Global Times that the company really hopes to rely on a platform like WIC to let more partners and users know about its products.

"The Chinese market is the single largest market in the world for Oxsight. It has advantages in population and purchasing power. In the future, we will focus on using China's manufacturing advantages and make the cost performance of our products better," said Chen.

He also noted that China has advantages in the scale of data and computing power, while Oxsight has advantages in algorithms, which can complement each other well.

"This is our first participation in WIC. We hope to establish some cooperation with more Tianjin enterprises via such an exchange platform," Cao Ke, head of presales of Aveva Greater China, told the Global Times at the WIC. Aveva is a British multinational information technology consulting company headquartered in Cambridge.

According to Cao, in the past 26 years after entering the market, Aveva has served 16 industries in China, mainly energy, chemicals, maritime, medicine, food, metallurgy, electronics and semiconductors.

"As China is advancing with its dual carbon goals, we also see a shift in our Chinese customers. More customers come from the new energy and new material sector, while the number of those from the fossil energy sector is reducing," said Cao.

In the past 50 years after the two countries established diplomatic relations, a large number of British companies have invested in China and shared market dividends with Chinese companies during the rapid and stable development of the Chinese economy.

Starforth, for instance, went to work in China in 1999 and stayed for five years. He moved back in 2018. Describing China in 1999 and 2023 as worlds apart, Starforth said that China has advanced quickly.

"We often talk about China's speed it works at a speed that the rest of the world doesn't. When China decides to do something, it does it, and it delivers where people are still trying to catch up," said Starforth.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday, the UK's investment in China increased 323.7 percent year on year in the first four months of 2023, second only to France, which ranked first.

The steady flow of investment from the UK shows another true aspect of the China-UK relationship, namely the strong desire of the British business community to deepen economic and trade exchanges with China.

There are many examples as almost all British multinational companies that have come to China are increasing their investment in the market.

InterContinental Hotels Group has opened and planned more than 1,000 hotels in China, and British Petroleum is investing in China's new-energy vehicles, especially in the field of charging.

In the financial sector, Standard Chartered, HSBC and Schroders are all growing their wealth management businesses in China.

AstraZeneca signed an investment cooperation agreement with Qingdao in east China's Shandong province on March 25, announcing another expansion of production investment in China.

In late 2022, the UK's Ineos Group signed a series of petrochemical deals with Sinopec with an aggregate value of $7 billion, the largest-ever investment by a British company in China. The deals included a joint venture to build the Tianjin Nangang Ethylene Project.

In 2022, China-UK trade in goods exceeded $100 billion, and the stock of two-way direct investment exceeded $50 billion.