Starbucks Opens $220 Million Coffee Innovation Park in China

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Starbucks, the US coffee giant, opened a $220 million Coffee Innovation Park outside Shanghai on Tuesday, a sign that established multinationals are still looking to China for growth despite its faltering post-Covid recovery.

The park, which includes a roasting plant and distribution center, is the largest investment Starbucks has made in any such project outside the United States. It is also the company's first roasting plant in China.

The park is expected to create 2,000 new jobs and will serve Starbucks' more than 6,500 coffee shops in China. The company says that a new store opens in the country every nine hours.

Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan said in a statement that the company's "best days are ahead in China."

"As Starbucks' largest and fastest-growing international market, we will continue to deepen our investment and reinforce our unwavering long-term commitment to the China market," Narasimhan said.

The opening of the Coffee Innovation Park comes at a time when many multinational companies are reconsidering their investments in China. A recent survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai found that optimism among US businesses in China was at a "record low," mainly due to the sluggish economy and Washington-Beijing tensions.

However, Starbucks' investment suggests that the company is confident in the long-term prospects of the Chinese market. The company has been operating in China for over 20 years and has become one of the most popular coffee brands in the country.

The new Coffee Innovation Park is expected to help Starbucks maintain its growth in China. The park will allow the company to roast and distribute coffee beans more efficiently, and it will also give Starbucks a platform to develop new coffee products and services tailored to the Chinese market.

The park also includes a research and development center, where Starbucks will work with Chinese partners to develop new coffee cultivation and processing methods.

Starbucks' investment is a positive sign for the Chinese economy. It shows that multinational companies are still willing to invest in China, despite the current challenges. The investment is also expected to create jobs and boost economic activity in the Shanghai region.

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