Venturing an opinion about the United States can be tricky under the best of circumstances, given that almost everyone has an opinion on the country and its future. Expressing an optimistic view of America is still more challenging—particularly on the cusp of a presidential election year, when the public rhetoric is sure to skew heavily toward what’s struggling and in need of fixing.

My belief in America, however, is both real and pragmatic. As a business leader, I am the ultimate caretaker of our shareholders’ confidence in Coca-Cola—an American company with truly global reach. So while my affection for America is deep and personal, my belief in America must be based on the same kind of due diligence I follow when I look at any market and ask: is this a good place to invest in for the future?

In the United States, I see a market of vast and growing potential. While I am an optimist by nature, I am a realist by experience. Even when accounting for a significant slate of current and future challenges, I believe America’s best days are ahead.

Click here to read the full op-ed in Horizons magazine, a publication from the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD).

Muhtar Kent is chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. Follow him on Twitter @MuhtarKent.