Starbucks Coffee International, a wholly owned subsidiary of coffeeshop giant Starbucks Coffee Co, is rapidly proceeding with its strategic plans for the Latin American market.

"Starbucks is actively exploring opportunities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela," said Julio Gutierrez, president of Latin America, Starbucks Coffee International. "Latin America is a very special market for Starbucks. We have a long history with the people in this region as it is home to many of the countries where we buy our coffee."

Since opening its first international store in Japan in 1996, Starbucks has successfully expanded into 24 international markets in the Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. In addition to last week's announcement on entering the Greek market, Starbucks recently announced its plans to open the first stores in Germany and Spain in spring this year.

Peter Maslen, president, Starbucks Coffee International, commetned: "As we plan to announce our entry into Latin America, our goal is to bring the Starbucks Experience to at least two Latin American markets by the end of fiscal 2002.

"I believe that the tremendous reception that Starbucks has received in all our international markets is a strong indication that the Starbucks Experience will be embraced by the people of Latin America."