If only Gordon Brown knew the ABCs of exports

Over the past couple of years, newspapers and magazines have been full of the rise of China as an economic superpower. Already dominant in toys, sporting goods, small electrical goods and, increasingly, textiles, the country is poised to conquer the automotive and computer industries. Chinese brands are growing in importance as the nation moves away from its traditional role as a mass-producer of cheap goods, as can be seen in several recent Premier League sponsorship deals.

But the Diary has some good news for Gordon Brown as he sits, late at night, weeping over the latest balance-of-trade figures (before remembering that the newspapers don’t talk about them any more). The saviour of the UK’s economic fundamentals, as revealed in a press release sent to the Diary, is – counting magazines.

Yes, in a brave lone effort for the export drive, the Audit Bureau of Circulations is exporting magazine-sales-counting techniques to the world’s largest consumer of cement and steel. And here, to prove it, is a picture of ABC chief executive Chris Boyd presenting a certificate to Qian Zhu of the Sino Publication Audit Centre. The export drive starts here.

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