Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Coca-Cola CEO: Act to fix unemployment

Coca-Cola CEO: Act to fix unemployment

    Just Watched

    Coca-Cola CEO: Act to fix unemployment

Coca-Cola CEO: Act to fix unemployment 01:56

Story highlights

  • Coke CEO says companies need to help find solution to rising global unemployment
  • ILO predicts 202 million people will be jobless in 2013, up 5.1 million from 2012
  • In June 2012, Coke announced plans to re-enter Myanmar after 60 year absence
  • In 2012, developing economies in Asia, Africa contributed most to global jobless numbers

Global unemployment is rising, with youth feeling the brunt, and companies need to find solutions to set jobseekers on "a clearer path to success," according to Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.

"It's a matter for government, it's a matter for business, it's a matter for civil society," Kent told CNN's Richard Quest recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"It's a matter for all of us. You cannot have a major part of society unhappy because they don't have anywhere to go to work. That cannot continue."

The International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency which oversees global labor standards, reported in January that 5.1 million people will be unable to find a job in 2013.

Coca-Cola weighs in on obesity fight

    Just Watched

    Coca-Cola weighs in on obesity fight

Coca-Cola weighs in on obesity fight 05:34
Coke's new ad campaign targets obesity

    Just Watched

    Coke's new ad campaign targets obesity

Coke's new ad campaign targets obesity 03:28
Coke and capitalism

    Just Watched

    Coke and capitalism

Coke and capitalism 01:56

The ILO forecasts a total of 202 million people around the world will be unemployed this year -- a number equal to nearly two thirds of the entire population of the United States.

"We have to not go into a corner and wait for the storm to pass," said Kent, who stressed that companies must continue to invest in their businesses. "Without investment there will not be growth, and without growth there will not be employment."

Despite the 2008 global financial crisis, the eurozone's sovereign debt challenges and China's slower-growing economy, Kent says investment can still be justified and points to Coca-Cola's own recent practices.

In June 2012, Coke announced plans to return to Myanmar after a six decade absence.

"We certainly in the last four, five years have continued to invest in our business... have seen opportunities for growth all around the world despite all the difficulties in 2008 and 2009," he said. "And I think we look at the future in the next two, three years and we still see opportunities and we still will invest and create more jobs."

In 2012, developing economies in East Asia, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa contributed the bulk of the year's 4 million newly unemployed, according to the Global Employment Trends 2013 report.

      World Economic Forum 2013

    • The congress center is pictured on January 22, 2013 at the Swiss resort of Davos. The World Economic Forum (WEF) will take place from 23 to the 27 of January.

      Global policymakers, leading thinkers and key entrepreneurs are gathering in Davos. CNN brings you the latest news, views and musings live.
    • Free trade, transparency and a crackdown on tax cheats will be at the heart of Britain's G8 presidency, Prime Minister David Cameron told the World Economic Forum in Davos.
    • The mayor of London says a controversial vote for the British people whether to stay in the European Union is all part of democracy.
    • davos quest olli rehn finance EU_00034014.jpg

      A top European Union official says there's no need for Britain to make threats to leave the union in order to reform its membership.
    • Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga says his country will not negotiate with al Qaeda-linked Somali militants who have threatened to kill Kenyan hostages unless Nairobi releases all Muslims charged with terrorism.
    • marketplace europe davos fabrice bregier airbus_00002524.jpg

      The head of Airbus says the European aviation giant will take care to learn from its own mistakes -- and rival Boeing's -- ahead of the launch of its new widebody A350 aircraft.
    • To go with China-Environment-Climate-Rivers by Robert Saiget Ice melts in the source region of China's Yellow River outside of Maduo on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, known as the 'Roof of the World', on April 19, 2010, in northwestern Qinghai province. Global warming and environmental degradation on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau are cutting into water resources for Asia's mightiest rivers including the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong, experts say, as melting glaciers and permafrost along the mountain ranges are leading to erosion of the plateau's grasslands and wetlands. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

      As extreme weather events cost the global economy billions each year, the "neglected" risk of climate change seems to be rising to the top of the agenda, Andrew Steer writes.
    • The recession in Europe is entering its fifth year and unemployment doesn't look like it will be returning to normal levels anytime soon.
    • US tycoon Donald Trump (C) is escorted by Scottish pipers as he officially opens his new multi-million pound Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on July 10, 2012.

      What has been made clear by current events and financial upheavals since 2008 is that the global economy has become truly that -- global.
    • Tourists enjoy the summer on the main beach of Croatia's central Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik on June 27, 2009.

      On July 1, 2013 the 27-nation European Union will become 28. But is the Adriatic country ready to join Europe's elite club?