|John Kerry stops off for Shwarma in Ramallah, May 23, 2013|
Statement by the Coca-Cola Company on John Kerry's plans for Palestine
“Recent public announcements by US Secretary of State John Kerry included references to a vibrant partnership with the private sector in creating innovative solutions to enhance prosperity in the West Bank and Gaza. Together with other business leaders, the Chairman and CEO of The Coca‐Cola Company, Mr. Muhtar Kent, has been recognized for his active engagement in the process of jump‐starting the economy in the Palestinian territories. Improved economic conditions are a necessary part of achieving a sustainable PAA and The Coca-Cola Company is committed to investing in sustainable communities wherever we do business. We have invested more than $1 billion across the Middle East over the last five years – but, at this point, there are no specific plans for additional investments by The Company.
“The Coca-Cola Company entered Gaza in in 1998 through our locally owned franchisee, National Beverage Company (NBC). NBC serves its market with beverages made in the Palestinian Authority Area (PAA) and operates three bottling plants in the West Bank and four sales & distribution centers, in Gaza, Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Tulkarem.
“The Coca-Cola Company has a long track record of investing in social and environmental programs in PAA and is supportive of any effort to improve the development climate in the region.”