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Coke CEO Slams U.S.; Looks to China, Russia

"When a country is in trouble, you can't have a polarized political process," Kent added. "There's too much comfort. We need more needles to stick in politicians."

While Coca-Cola gets around 41% of its annual sales and 19% of operating income from the U.S. (with around 7% of global sales by volume coming from China), according to some analyst estimates, Chinese and Russian markets are gaining share. The company is looking to expand, tapping into those potential international sources for increased revenue and profit.

Coca-Cola announced Monday its plans to invest $3 billion in Russia over the next five years, and said in August it would invest $4 billion in China over the next three years. The Chinese investment follows a previous three-year investment in China of more than $3 billion. Those figures compare with a $1.3 billion capital investment in North America this year.

Coke rival PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) is also looking to emerging markets for growth. Pepsi said Sept. 9 that it completed its acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, a Russian manufacturer of dairy and juice products, a deal of around $5.4 billion.

Russia is now Pepsi's largest market outside the U.S. The deal is expected to add around $5 billion in annual revenue to Pepsi.

Coupled with its bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH), Coca-Cola operates 17 plants in Russia.

Coke shares were 1.9% higher at $70.06 in trading Tuesday.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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