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Starbucks to open 1st Vietnam cafe

HANOI — Starbucks Corp. will open its first cafe in Vietnam next month in Ho Chi Minh City as part of its strategy to expand across Asia, the Seattle-based chain said Thursday. It will be entering a country of coffee lovers. At least two popular homegrown chains have dozens of locations nationwide, and family-run sidewalk cafes dot the streets of larger cities.

Starbucks operates more than 3,300 stores across 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, but its Vietnam cafes will celebrate the country’s ‘‘coffee culture and heritage.’’

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Vietnam, the world’s second-largest coffee producer after Brazil, already provides beans to Starbucks. French colonizers introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s; coffee here typically is stronger than European espresso.

Starbucks has nearly 18,000 stores in 60 countries.

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