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Originally published February 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM | Page modified February 14, 2014 at 6:33 AM

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Starbucks enters its 64th country, oil-rich Brunei

Starbucks is opening its first store in the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei, a move that underscores the importance of international operations for the coffee behemoth.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Starbucks is opening a store in Brunei, making the oil-rich Southeast Asian nation the 64th country where it plants a flag.

The Seattle coffee giant said its first store in Brunei will open Feb. 16 at the Mabohai Mall, a popular shopping destination.

For Starbucks, international operations are becoming an increasingly important component of business, with more room for growth than its home market in North America, where the siren logo is ubiquitous.

No part of Starbucks’ overseas empire is more important to the coffee chain than the Asia Pacific region, home to giants China and India, as well as booming economies and an emerging consumption culture that embraces global brands.

The company plans to add about 750 new stores in the region this year, which would give its store count there a 19 percent boost.

Starbucks also announced that it’s opening its 100th store in Singapore. The company said it hired six employees with autism as it strengthens its alliance with Singapore’s Autism Resource Centre.

Ángel González: 206-464-2250 or On Twitter: @gonzalezseattle

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