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Starbucks Seeks India Entry by year-End: Report - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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NEW DELHI (AFP) – US coffee giant Starbucks aims to open the first of 100 planned outlets in India by the end of 2007, a report said Tuesday.

“We are excited about the great opportunities that India presents,” a spokesman for Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

“We target opening the doors of our first store by the end of 2007 in either New Delhi or Mumbai,” the official said.

The company has submitted a fresh application to India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board for the mandatory clearance, after an earlier request to forge a joint partnership was reportedly turned down.

India allows up to 51 percent foreign investment in single-brand retail outlets. Others have to operate through a franchise system with local owners.

“Starbucks submitted a revised application on April 13 to operate single-brand retail stores in India with a restructured entity,” the company official told Press Trust.

Local coffee chains have mushroomed in tea-drinking India in the past few years as spending increases because of a booming economy.