U.S. coffee chain Starbucks has announced plans to invest US$20 million to launch 20 new franchises in Argentina, hinting at a changing economic climate in the South American country.
The new coffee shops would generate about 1,000 jobs in Argentina, where Starbucks already has over 70 branches.
Fabian Gosselin, CEO of Alsea, the holding company for Starbucks, has also talked of launching more Burger King units in the South American country.
According to Reuters, Alsea runs about 2,200 franchises of Burger King and Starbucks in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Mexico.
Alsea has been dominating these Latin American markets, particularly in Argentina, where it employs over 6,000 people.
Although Argentina is in economic turmoil following its default on bond repayments, some foreign companies are scaling up operations there. For example, George Soros has reportedly doubled his stake in YPF SA, Argentina’s state-owned oil company.
There are also reports that Argentina is planning to use China’s Yuan currency for foreign trade. China has reportedly agreed to supply Argentina with the equivalent of US$11 billion in Yuan to help it ease the constraints caused by rising inflation and declining foreign reserves.
The transaction will be done handled by each respective country’s central banks, with much of this currency being intended for future trade with China.