Dairy Queen looks to Asia for expansion opportunities

Dairy Queen, at first glimpse, may come across as an all-American company, but the ice cream restaurant actually operates in more than 28 countries and has some lofty ambitions for expanding its operations in Southeast Asia -- trade war or not.

According to Dairy Queen CEO Troy Bader, the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary operates more than 450 locations in Thailand and more than 800 in China.

“Asia, and really Southeast Asia, have been wonderful markets for us,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman during an interview in Omaha, Nebraska, one day ahead of Berkshire’s annual shareholders meeting.

And Bader doesn’t see the Chinese markets diminished by what some say is a brewing trade war between the U.S. and China.

President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs worth at least $150 billion on Chinese goods over allegations of intellectual property theft, and Beijing responded with its own tariffs on 106 American imports, including soybeans, corn, wheat and a number of fruits.

“Our relationship is good,” he said. “So notwithstanding all of the things that will be going on politically, we try to stay away from that fray and really focus on DQ and providing our fans in China with the greatest treats and beverages we can.”

Now, the company is eyeing expansions into South Korea. Dairy Queen opened its first store in Seoul at the end of 2017 and just launched its third operation in the country.