Starbucks Coffee Company announced on 3 January the expansion of its relationship with Hong Kong Maxim’s Group to operate Starbucks stores in Vietnam. The first Starbucks store is scheduled to open in Ho Chi Minh City in early February 2013. Starbucks has granted Hong Kong Maxim’s Group subsidiary, Coffee Concepts (Vietnam) Limited, the license agreement for the Vietnam market. Coffee Concepts (Vietnam) Limited will be Starbucks licensee for operating Starbucks stores in Vietnam. “Vietnam is one of the most dynamic and exciting markets in the world and we are proud to add Vietnam as the 12th market across the China and Asia Pacific region,” said John Culver, President, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific, in a statement. “Starbucks is deeply respectful of Vietnam’s long and distinctive local coffee culture. We know coffee is a national pride for many Vietnamese and as such, we look forward to contributing and growing Vietnam’s already vibrant coffee industry. As we continue to source more Vietnamese high-quality, arabica coffee we want to leverage our scale to bring the best of Vietnam’s coffee traditions to the rest of the world.” “Our partnership with Starbucks has more than 10 years of history and we are proud to deliver the Starbucks Experience to our customers in Hong Kong and Macau today,” said Michael Wu, Chairman and Managing Director, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group, in the statement. “We are looking forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks brand to welcome Vietnamese customers to our stores, earning their trust and respect with the unparalleled Starbucks Experience, known by customers around the globe.” Starbucks currently operates more than 3300 stores across 11 countries in the China and Asia Pacific region. Through its licensed partner, Coffee Concepts (Hong Kong) Limited, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Maxim’s Group, Starbucks operates more than 130 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.