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Starbucks to Open First Coffee Roastery Outside U.S. in Shanghai

Starbucks, the world's biggest coffee company, said on Thursday it would open a coffee roastery in Shanghai, China in 2017, its first outside the United States.

"China represents the most important and exciting opportunity ahead of us," said Starbucks CEO and chairman Howard Schultz, in a prepared statement. "As our first international Roastery, we will take even bolder steps to make this Shanghai location our most stunning store, while making it completely unique and relevant to the Chinese customer."

The company currently operates only one such roastery in Seattle, which it opened in 2014. It has signed leases to open one more in New York.

Starbucks has been investing heavily in China, the company's largest market outside the United States, despite signs of slowing growth.

The company said in April that business in China remained strong even as its economy cools.

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