Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
"Ireland and the 21st-Century Power of Partnerships"
The Boston College Chief Executives Club met at the Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland, on September 2 for its inaugural Global Forum. Keynote speaker Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company, spoke about the connections between Ireland and America through history, culture, and commerce. “America is Ireland’s number one destination for exports,” Kent noted, praising the country for its successful business partnerships. He also touted five characteristics of contemporary Ireland he considers worth emulating: dynamism, cultural pride, innovation, resilience, and collaboration. Joseph L. Hooley III ’79, chairman and chief executive officer of State Street Corporation and Boston College Trustee, introduced Kent at the luncheon. (The event was one in a series leading up to the September 3 Aer Lingus College Football Classic, in which the Boston College Eagles, unfortunately lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 14–17.)
"[Even with the EU decision for Apple to pay back taxes to Ireland,] we’re very comfortable with Ireland … We have unpacked our bags and we’re here to stay … As one of the largest investors in Ireland … we’re very happy, and I am sure that many of my successors, when they come to Ireland and … that investment has doubled, tripled to $2 billion, $3 billion in the future, they will also be very happy." TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO »
"We will continue to invest … in China. The future in China is going to be a very bright and very great future for all companies there because of the dynamism of the people and the economy, too." TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO »
"We need more recognition of youth unemployment … this issue of growth with no employment and what we all have to do as leaders in the world. Work is continuing now in terms of aligning education more to the needs of business, in terms of making sure that … two-year vocational degrees are as important as four-year degrees [to employers]." TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO »
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