"Our darkest days have passed," he said. "We’re beginning to see the first rays of light through that long, dark tunnel."
He pointed out that the volume of Coca-Cola's beverage sales has grown for two straight quarters in North America -- the first time that has happened in five years. The company's $12 billion purchase of its biggest bottling company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and a $115 million expansion of a citrus processing plant in Florida earlier this year, he added, are evidence that the company feels good about the direction of the economy.
"Our bullishness on America is not some form of blind optimism," Kent said. "There are trends and dynamics here that are real and tangible and have long-term positive implications."
For the economy to keep growing, however, the country must to do more to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, invest more in education and improve foreign trade policies, Kent said. He also said the government should focus less on regulation and taxes -- not surprising given rumblings of possible soda taxes this year in New York and other locales.
"If we -- together -- create the right climate for investment, entrepreneurship and competitiveness, there is no limit to how far we can advance over the coming decade," he added.
Staff writer Jeremiah McWilliams contributed to this article.