The Sept. 11 incidents underline the responsibility of multinational corporations to promote “social stability” around the world by “opening doors of opportunity” in the countries in which they operate, according to Frank Belatti, chairman and CEO of AFC Enterprises.

          Mr. Belatti, who spoke at a Business to Business Magazine symposium at the Carter Center last week, said that CEOs should be more focused on the world’s social problems now, in the wake of the terrorist attacks, their economic repercussions and subsequent xenophobia, than ever before.

Franchising, he said, spells an opportunity to create jobs in various countries, form international partnerships and develop relationships with local communities to foster mutual respect and understanding, as well as profitability.

          AFC, the parent company of Church’s Chicken, Cinnabon, Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits, Seattle’s Best and Torrefazione Italia Coffees, has approximately 1,000 overseas franchise establishments in 33 countries.

AFC has built more than 200 Popeyes restaurants in Korea in two years, and the 500th Cinnabon recently opened in Japan.

One of the company’s goals, Mr. Belatti said, is to create “equity through opportunity.”  To this end, AFC’s franchisees have joined it in conducting social responsibility projects, such as its commitment to build some 400 Habitat for Humanity houses, in the communities where its franchises are located.

Every multinational company, Mr. Belatti said, has the responsibility to close the world’s economic divide and to promote stable, viable communities worldwide by starting social programs in the markets where they do business. Contact Mr. Belatti at (770) 391-9500.