Starbucks, the coffee shop behemoth, has opened its 500th store in Latin America. The company's newest store in the region is located in Santiago, Chile. Cliff Burrows, president, Americas at Starbucks, said: “Since we opened our first store in Puerto Rico nine years ago, we have seen tremendous growth opportunities in Latin America -- even some of our biggest markets are just getting started. Today's milestone demonstrates our continued commitment and enthusiasm for the region and the optimism for the opportunities ahead." Starbucks international business is a key future growth engine for the company. Pablo Arizmendi, vice president and general manager, Latin America, at Starbucks, said: “We see strong growth potential in Brazil, where we have plans to open several hundred stores in the next five years.” Last month, Starbucks strengthened its relationship with Alsea, its joint venture partner in Argentina, Chile and Mexico. The companies plan to open more than 300 new stores in Argentina and Mexico within the next five years. In addition to Latin America, Starbucks continues to grow its business around the world. In October, it opened its 500th store in Mainland China and plans to open its first store in India in 2012.