By Emad Hamdy
High Land for Import and Export, which operates in the field of the paper and food products, achieved sales of EGP 70m last year.
Waleed El-Saied, Chairman of High Land, said the company targets sales of over EGP 100m in 2017, through increasing the production capacity and opening new markets for export and sales outlets, in addition to contracting with local agents.
He added that the company cooperates with the Arab African International Bank, National Bank of Egypt, and other prominent regional banks to obtain loans to finance the company’s activities. High Land’s business volume amounts to EGP 6m monthly in the paper and food products sectors.
El-Saied explained that the instability of the dollar’s exchange rate is the biggest problem facing the company now, whereby raw materials are exported at specific prices, and their costs are calculated in accordance to the price of supply in addition to the profit margin. Should prices change, the company faces losses that appear when converting the pound to dollar to export the raw materials.
He added that more than 80% of the paper sales operations in Egypt are conducted through post-dated cheques, rather than through collecting the money immediately after the selling process. The sales are collected over two to three months.
El-Saied added that the instability of the dollar’s price puts the company at risk of losses ranging between 5% and 10%, at a time when the company seeks importing raw materials for Egyptian factories in order to create added value and achieve profit.
He added that the company cooperates through Egyptian factories operating in the field of packaging to provide the materials, especially in 10th of Ramadan City, 6th of October City, and Badr City.
El-Saied explained that the most prominent company they deal with is Shorouk for press publication. In addition, the company’s manufacturing of packaging materials and cardboard is used by major companies like Coca-Cola and Chipsy.
In addition to working in importing raw materials of all kinds of paper, the company also exports food products. The company deals with military factories to export dried onions. It also deals with Coca-Cola and other juice and soda factories to export their products to companies dealing with ports all over the country to provide food and drinks to their passengers.
He noted that the most prominent markets that receive exports from the company are England and Brazil. The company is further negotiating opening new markets for exporting in Germany and France after reaching an agreement over the products’ quality and prices.
He added that the instability of the dollar’s price is an obstacle for foreign investors who want to pump more investments into Egypt, and must convert the foreign currency to the Egyptian pound. After a while, the investor will want to transfer money abroad in dollars, whether the profits achieved or to import raw materials, only to have to face an increase in the dollar price since the time of pumping the investments in the Egyptian market. As a result, the investor incurs losses.
He explained that commercial transactions in Egypt are being conducted through non-cash methods, such as cheques, while cash power is declining in Egypt.
He added that the Egyptian law is not powerful enough to encourage investors to work with the long-term cheques system, which requires courts for investors to get their rights.
High Land has devised a plan to expand the local and external relations to obtain the required products in beta prices in order to expand the company’s activities to cover both the Egyptian and Arab markets.
El-Saied added that the company was established in the first place to operate in the field of subcontracting in 1988. Later, it was agreed that the company would switch to distributing paper throughout the country, with a production capacity amounting to 50,000 tonnes, in addition to the field of exporting food products.