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UK, China to ride WIC for more cooperation in digital, smart sectors

By FAN FEIFEI in Beijing and YANG CHENG in Tianjin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-06-24 09:44

Sinochem's booth is seen during an expo in Shanghai. [Photo/China Daily]

The United Kingdom is expected to deepen cooperation with China in the field of digital economy and intelligent manufacturing by participating in the 6th World Intelligence Congress, which is a two-day online event starting from Friday in Tianjin.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ambassadorial relations between the UK and China, and the two countries will explore in-depth exchanges and cooperation in intelligent technology and intelligent manufacturing via this event, said the event's organizer.

It added that the UK will be the guest of honor country for this year's congress, and 17 well-known enterprises from the UK and three organizations will attend the event.

John Edwards, UK trade commissioner to China, said the UK delegation will share innovative solutions from its own digital transformation, which covers science and technology, manufacturing, education, healthcare, agriculture, energy and chemical engineering sectors.

Edwards said he hopes these advanced technologies and solutions from British companies contribute to China's digital transformation, and more Chinese and British enterprises will find opportunities for cooperation through the congress.

"The past decade has seen success for British exports to China, which have more than tripled, making China the UK's third-largest trading partner," he said, while noting the two countries have carried out in-depth cooperation in digital transformation in various fields like chemical engineering, energy and manufacturing in recent years.

"The UK has long-standing links with Tianjin, the advanced manufacturing powerhouse of North China. We look forward to strengthening and expanding these links in this important year and beyond," Edwards added.

Aveva Inc, a UK-based industrial software firm, has witnessed and contributed to the rapid development and transformation of China's manufacturing industry, said Liu Xiaoguang, general manager of an oil, gas and intelligent manufacturing business unit of Aveva Greater China.

"We hope to have in-depth exchanges and discussions with industry experts on hot topics such as intelligent manufacturing and big data through the congress," Liu said, adding that they want to introduce most advanced technologies and related products around the globe to clients during the event and expand cooperation with local partners.

The company has vowed to strengthen its presence in China and help the country decarbonize its energy industry with digital operations. It has been actively cooperating with Chinese companies, mostly State-owned enterprises-including Sinochem Holdings Corp Ltd and China General Nuclear Power Corp-to help promote their digital transformation.

China's manufacturing sector is facing challenges from digital transformation and upgrade, as people have shown rising demand for tailor-made products, which puts forward higher requirement for intelligent and flexible manufacturing, said Zhang Song, CEO of Thoughtworks China, a technology consulting company.

Zhang said digital technologies such as artificial intelligence will play a vital role in ensuring the stability of supply chains and helping enterprises make accurate predictions and enhance operational efficiency based on customer data.

China's spending on digital transformation is expected to reach $1.5 trillion in the 2021-2024 period, with an average annual growth rate of 17 percent, according to a report by market research firm International Data Corporation.

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