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Starbucks expands in Cambodia to tap one of fastest growing economies

Starbucks is expanding in Cambodia, one of the world’s fastest expanding economies, as the company taps Asia for growth amid a mixed outlook in the Americas.

The Seattle-based coffee chain will open a two-floor, 650 square-meter (7,000 square-feet) store in the capital, Phnom Penh, on Friday to take advantage of a 10 per cent annual increase in coffee consumption in the Southeast Asian nation, according to Asia-Pacific President Mark Ring.

“In the long term, we’re positive about Asia,” Ring said in an interview on Thursday. “We’ll continue to look for opportunities over time.”

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The share of Asian revenue at the world’s largest coffee-shop chain has more than doubled in the past two years to 15 per cent, putting overseas potential in focus as the US market matures. The company entered Cambodia in December and with the new store will have three outlets in an economy the International Monetary Fund estimates will expand almost 7 per cent this year.

Ring said Starbucks is aiming to appeal to a broad base in Cambodia, from tourists to young professionals, and will customise aspects such as the food service to suit local tastes.

The Cambodian footprint remains a fraction of Starbucks’ more than 6,200 stores in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

Cambodia has a population of about 16 million people and gross domestic product per capita of US$1,235, compared with $8,240 in China, according to IMF data. The Southeast Asian nation’s estimated GDP growth is among the top 10 in the world, the figures also show.