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Drinking Up Davos With Coca-Cola

Thursday, 27 Jan 2011 | 3:35 AM ET

Maria Bartiromo kicked off her global coverage with one of the most recognized franchises in the world, Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola CEO: Inflation 'Global Consequences'
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent told CNBC in Davos that inflation will have global consequences.

It has been 125 years since the first icy-cold coke was served. And today, CEO Muhtar Kent outlined key initiatives the company is taking to keep Coke as one of the most recognized and successful companies throughout the globe.

Here at the World Economic Forum, trade is a hot topic. As companies and world leaders look to open barriers between nations, Kent stressed to Bartiromo that it is 'crucial for the world that trade continues to grow.'

When asked about China, Kent told Bartiromo that he 'sees in the next decade better harmony and collaboration between the U.S. and China.' He also mentioned that 'we will see better collaboration between U.S. companies and Chinese companies.'

No doubt Coca-Cola has been zeroing in on the growing middle class throughout the world. The World Bank estimates that the global middle class is likely to grow from 430 million in 2000 to 1.2 billion in 2030.

China and India will account for two-thirds of the expansion. Kent told Bartiromo there is a big opportunity for Coca-Cola on this growth…and that they 'continue to innovate ahead of trends to address the growing middle class.'

That's the buzz early in Davos! Cheers!

- Donna Burton & Kerima Greene contributed to this article.

The snow started coming down Tuesday evening and a crisp white blanket covered Davos before sunrise. But much of the talk late yesterday and Wednesday morning was about snow in the UK — and whether it's really to blame.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne blamed "terrible" weather in December for the surprise 0.5 percent fall in fourth-quarter GDP. But as ploughs cleared the snow in Davos there was much skepticism in the WEF community.

Heard in Davos 2011 - Dispatches From The Conference
Heard in Davos 2011 - Dispatches From The Conference

While storms may have grounded flights at Heathrow the thoughts among several delegates were that it was policy that was grounding the UK economy.

Economist Nouriel Roubini hadn't even arrived in the Alpine resort before he was Tweetingthat the Bank of England couldn't ride to the rescue because of rising prices. That was confirmed when Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said that inflation could hit 5 percent.

The UK is now looking like a test case for the austerity-now approach in large economies and there aren't many people giving it a high grade.

As one delegate said, this is a referendum "on which policy was right? The US or the UK?"

"It's the US," she said.

Donna Burton, Kerima Greene and Crystal Lau contributed to this blog.

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