Prime Minister David Cameron has applauded BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den food manufacturers Helen and Lisa Tse for signing a deal to sell the free-from Chinese sauces they created in China.
Cameron said: “Sweet Mandarin has accomplished what many would regard as the toughest of sells – exporting Chinese sauces to China. This is real innovation and I’m proud to see a small UK-based company doing so well here in China.”
Lisa Tse is currently with David Cameron on his trade mission to China. The trip is a bid to open the door for British business in the vast and increasingly lucrative Chinese market.
Sweet Mandarin tweeted: “In China with the Prime Minster. Yup, we’re selling Chinese sauces to China. I can’t believe I’m on this trip of a lifetime.”
£5.6bn worth of deals
The UK business delegation has struck £5.6bn worth of deals on the trip so far.
Cameron said: “This is the largest trade mission Britain has ever taken to China and it comes at a time when Chinese investment in the UK has almost doubled in just one year.
“There is such untapped potential here in China and I’m determined to help companies like Sweet Mandarin succeed in this exciting and fast-growing market.”
Linking Britain to China is part of the government’s plan to secure economic recovery.
Cameron said: “I hope that by advancing and extending our bilateral trade, by working together on the global issues that affect us all, and by maintaining an honest and open dialogue, my visit to China can plant the seeds of a long-term relationship that will benefit China, Britain and the world for generations to come.”
£50,000 investment from Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devy
Sweet Mandarin sauces have gone from strength to strength since their founders the Tse sisters first won a £50,000 investment from Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devy on Dragons’ Den, broadcast in September 2012.
The gluten-free sauces are now sold by Tesco, Sainsbury, Selfridges and Ocado and in Dunnes Stores and Supervalu in Ireland. The Tse sisters have also secured listings in Russia, Germany and Switzerland.
From Dragons’ Den to David Cameron’s trade mission: the story of the Tse sisters
September 2012 – Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devy invest £50,000 in Sweet Mandarin Sauces on BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den
November 2012 – Sweet Mandarin Sauces secure national listings in 500 Sainsbury stores.
April 2013 – The sisters open their first food factory and take on two staff.
May 2013 – The sisters win a contract to supply Ocado.
August 2013 – Sweet Mandarin Sauces arrive on the shelves of 200 Tesco stores
December 2013 – Lisa Tse goes on trade mission to China with David Cameron.
January 2014 – The launch date for the Chinese gluten-free dairy free cook book.
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