More foreign investment required to develop BD further

SM Rahman, Managing Director, Novo Group says
- A Monitor Report01 Oct, 2019 | 1097 Views|-+
Dhaka : The word Novo means new. That is exactly what S M Rahman had in mind when he named Novo Cargo Services Ltd, to do something new in the country's logistics sector.

Even after being a top listed freight forwarding company, S M Rahman, Managing Director of Novo Group feels that in all these years, after all the success, they couldn't achieve what they intended to_ bring enough foreign investments to see Bangladesh develop to the heights of its other Southeast Asian counterparts.

The Managing Director said this while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor at his office recently.

"A country that lags behind in logistics can never climb the ladder of development. Hence to this purpose, we started Novo Cargo Services Ltd," said S M Rahman.

Novo Cargo Services Ltd provides all sorts of logistics support_ freight forwarding services, sea freight services, air freight services, project handling, inland transportation including multi-modal transportation, warehousing and distribution, ground handling services etc.

Moreover, Novo continuously works to invite and bring foreign investors to the country and showcase Bangladesh's industrial potential to them.

Investors never invest directly. They come to a country as tourists first and then observe what the country has to offer. They talk to the locals, government officials and other concerned parties.

Until now, Bangladesh had some drawbacks for which investors used to fear investing. One of the major problems was the lengthy procedure which used to harm the investors a lot, SM Rahman said.

Investors always take bank support for investment purposes. After coming to the country fully prepared, the sooner they will be able to invest and start operations, the sooner they will be able to start earning and pay the loan back to the bank.

If the process gets delayed, the investors suffer greatly since they need to pay 3-4 per cent interest with their loan to the bank.

However, for the last 10 years, the way government is facilitating, the investors feel that this is the right time to invest in Bangladesh.

In this regard, Novo introduces the investors to government officials and other concerns, to discuss openly how they can invest in Bangladesh. When everything is finalised, Novo Cargo Services Ltd provides the logistics support, said SM Rahman.

Nevertheless, the investors still have doubts on the law getting changed after five years.

"Therefore, we ask the government to make a plan to facilitate investors for 10 years. If in case, for the sake of the country, a law needs to be changed at some point, the investors will at least have 10 years to prepare accordingly," said the Managing Director.

Furthermore, SM Rahman claims that Bangladesh has the strongest young manpower at present. "65 per cent of our population right now is in the 20-45 years range."

"If we can involve this workforce in the industry then Bangladesh will surpass countries like Malaysia and Singapore," said SM Rahman. The government and private sector have great roles to play in this regard.

But more importantly, people's awareness is essential. It will be impossible unless the teachers of schools, colleges and universities plant the seeds in the minds of the students. "They should teach the students to invest in our motherland, for the sake of the country. And if possible bring foreign currency here."

Only then the goal of Novo Cargo Services Ltd will be fulfilled, concluded SM Rahman.

SM Rahman, Managing Director of Novo Group is a freedom fighter. He and his friends founded Novo Group in 1990 with Novo Cargo Services Ltd as an international freight forwarder in Bangladesh.

Now this Group comprises of seven business concerns in the field of logistics, international freight forwarding, travel and tourism, transportation, consumer products, energy solution and education sector.

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