In the Name of God
Khuzestan province has long been considered by the investors and the manufacturers of various economic areas as the source of the upstream industries.
The existence of tens of oil and gas fields, petrochemicals, and of course suitable climate and fertile soil, agricultural industries, and main manufacturing industries have changed the region into one of the industrial hubs of the country.
Pars Paper Industrial Group (Public Joint Stock Company) is the first manufacturer of printing and writing paper in Iran with a nearly half a century of activities and one of the largest industries in the region, which has managed to make a significant contribution to the economy of the region and the country after being transferred to the private sector.
In an interview, we had with Mr. Eng. Ahmad Moghadam, the CEO of the industrial group, we both talked on the current situation of the Industry and reviewed the future plans of the complex in the current year.
What you read below is the result of this interview:
While greeting and congratulating you on the New year, Given the recent rainfalls in the country and the damage to the northern areas of Khuzestan Province, what is the status of the Pars Paper Industrial Group after the flood in the region?
While I also greet and congratulate you on the New Year and wish success and health for all Iranians, especially the victims of the recent incident. As everyone knows, the recent flood on Nowruz vacation, unfortunately, has made up upset and led to the loss of a number of our compatriots and the financial loss on the national scale.
Of course, we thank God that we have been able to prove that we can achieve a better result by people’s mass attempts and cooperation, along with authorities. And I hope that the remaining problems will be solved and the conditions return to its primary situation by trying more as soon as possible.
We discuss the issue of the flood and its impact on the activity of Pars Paper from two perspectives:
The probable damages to the factory, raw materials, and/or the warehouse products:
Luckily, due to the forecasts and previous warnings, the factory did not incur the slightest damage and the production suffered no interruption, either.
However, the closure of the connecting roads caused the operation of loading products to stop for around two weeks, but immediately after the problem had been resolved, the products were loaded and dispatched in the end of April.
The effect on raw materials (bagasse):
A part of the sugar cane cultivating fields incurred damaged due to the incident which will cause harvest problems this year.
However, due to the storage of this product in Pars Paper and the existence of a two-year deposit, as well as the surplus annual production of bagasse in the region, Pars Paper Group has definitely faced no risk in this respect.
It is the six anniversary of the private sector’s control over the Pars Paper Industrial Group, what is your plan for this year?
Since the beginning of our management in the group, we have had long-term plans a part of which has been accomplished, and the rest is being fulfilled.
First of all, taking advantage of the nominal production capacity and increasing production by removing obstacles and setbacks resulted from the lack of restoration and modernization were placed on the agenda.
Another plan was to change the personnel’s behavioral patterns and to alter the age pyramid and the education of human resources, which was achieved.
Targeting the exporting markets was another policy of the group the result of which we can see.
But for 1398, the most important target of Pars Paper Group is to develop its products.
I am afraid as per the macroeconomic policies, opportunities were provided for imports in the previous years, which we call it the policy to support foreign manufacturers.
Assigning the preferential exchange rate of foreign currencies to import different types of paper and exempting value-added tax for importers caused the domestic manufacturers not to have the chance of equal competition with foreign manufacturers. Therefore, product development was practically impossible.
I explicitly point out that I do not mean the establishment of import tariffs and the like because I believe the tariff barriers will stop creativity in production complex.
On the other hand, we believe the conditions for producers and importers should be equal.
If importers do not pay value-added tax, why do the domestic producers have to pay tax?
We had an objection in this regard, but no one listened to us. The officials preferred to fix the problems with cheap imports, ignoring the fact that that policy would ultimately lead to where we are now.
All these years, we also tried our best to find exporting routes and to accomplished expanding plans, the impact of which is luckily visible.
This year due to unwanted conditions that occurred for imports, the ability has been created for Pars Paper to compete equally with foreign manufacturers, so a good year is expected for the group.
Manufacturing two new products are on the agenda:
The required papers for the multi-layer packaging industries (so-called Tetra Pak papers)
Coated papers for the packaging in pharmaceutical and drinking industries(so-called inder board papers) which I will explain below;
– Multilayer packages (commonly called Tetra Pak which is not a correct expression) are imported as a readymade pack.
Last year, we produced the paper required by this industry with the cooperation of one of our customers and sent it to the customer’s complex. After being laminated with aluminum and polyethylene in several layers, the final product will be produced and will experimentally be consumed. If the final result is positive, we will be able to add thus product to the range of products in Pars paper in May. It is a standard sanitary product made of 100% virgin pulp.
These types of paper is commonly called Inder board which is the glossy paper in different grammages which are used in pharmaceutical packaging and fruit packaging industries and the like.
The project has also completed its study and pilot phases, and we will have good news for the consumers of these types of paper which were fully imported.
I ask you, as a domestic manufacturer, whether the problems resulted from sanctions and the economic problems have had a negative impact for you.
Yes, naturally we are living in this atmosphere and are not apart from other manufacturers. The problems are the same for everyone. Perhaps the distinctive point of our industry with the other ones is that we do not depend on imports, so the problems related to this area are less for us.
What are your export policies for the current year?
First logistics and goods transfer and second money transfer
We confronted with some conditions in the last three months of the last year regarding exports. Firstly, we had a logistic problem and the transportation of goods and secondly money transfer.
To solve the problem with money transfer, we created new corridors for money transfer foreign currency to Iran, which was the result of public effort, and of course, the macro policies made by the Central Bank which has had a significant impact.
In the case of logistics, we had already had predictions, but we initially faced some delays which led to a decrease in the volume of our exports (Of course for a limited time, and the issue has already been solved). The only remaining issue in the logistic issue is just the time of shipment which can be solved by increasing the time of placing the order.
Our exports are a strategic issue, and we have already created new markets. Vietnam, which has been added this year, is one of the destination markets, and our previous customers have resumed their requests regarding the new ways of transferring money.
We anticipate that we will strongly have exports to the destination markets the same as in previous years.
Of course, a part of the last -year exports has been dedicated to the domestic market.