Coca-Cola has said it is easier conducting business in China than in the US

Coca-Cola has said it is easier conducting business in China than in the US

The chief executive of The Coca-Cola Co has told the Financial Times that he sees the US becoming "a less friendly business environment" than China.

Muhtar Kent said that, "in many respects", it was easier conducting business in China, due to political gridlock and an antiquated tax structure in the US that has made the market less competitive. Kent was speaking to the Financial Times on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in the US last week.

Kent likened China to "a well-managed company". "You have a one-stop shop in terms of the Chinese foreign investment agency and local governments are fighting for investment with each other," he told the newspaper.

Kent said that China's "budget discipline and rapid economic growth" made it an appealing place to set up operations.

Last month, Coca-Cola pledged a US$4bn investment with its bottling partners in China over the next three years. Along with Swire Beverages and COFCO Coca-Cola Beverage Co, Coca-Cola has already invested $3bn in the country over the last three years. This brings the total planned investment to $7bn between 2009 and 2014.

Earlier this month, the soft drinks firm said it still sees "huge" potential in increasing per capita consumption of soft drinks in China.