The project will ease travel for Bangladeshi citizens and increase border control efficiency
Bangladeshi travellers will soon be issued with the most sophisticated and secure type of passport in the world under a deal struck yesterday that will see e-passport gates installed at every airport and border crossing point in the country.
The new passports will feature high-tech colour personalization technology to ensure the ultimate colour brilliance of each ePassport holder's image, improving visual verification, reports UNB.
The development means Bangladesh - the world's eighth most populous country - will provide the highest output of passports with colour photos worldwide.
"The government took the initiative to introduce the e-passport to ease immigration procedures,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said.
The project, titled 'Introduction of e-Passport and Automated Border Control Management in Bangladesh', will be financed by the government and implemented from July 2018 to June 2028 by a German company, Veridos.
Under the terms of a government-to-government e-passport agreement signed by Bangladesh and Germany yesterday, the Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) has commissioned Veridos to supply, install, and implement next generation e-passports and border control systems in Bangladesh.
As a result, Bangladesh will move from machine readable passports (MRPs) to advanced ICAO-compliant e-Passports that meet the highest security standards.
"Through the signing of the agreement, we are moving one step ahead….e-gates will be installed at every airport and land port across the country,” Asaduzzaman said.
The 12-year contract encompassess the entire value chain for e-Passports - from security papers to e-Gates - and includes the set-up of a high-tech local passport factory.
The deal follows the signing of an MoU by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the German government on February 18, 2017
On June 21, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the project to issue e-passports alongside the existing machine readable passports (MRPs) to accommodate international demand as some countries, including Germany, do not accept MRPs.
Thursday’s deal was signed by DIP Director General Maj Gen Md Masud Rezwan and Veridos CEO Hans Wolfgang Kunz on behalf of their respective governments at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
Veridos is a leading identity solutions provider and a joint venture of Giesecke+Devrient and state-owned Bundesdruckerei GmbH.
"With Veridos' unique solution portfolio for the entire value chain of passports and their ID production expertise, we have found the perfect company to implement this turnkey project,” Masud Rezwan said.
“With their support, we can enhance the technology by which we can assemble the ePassport booklets in Bangladesh. This creates highly skilled jobs and know-how transfer from Germany.”
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and German foreign minister of state Niels Annen witnessed the MoU signing.
“Through the technological partnership with Germany, Bangladesh will gain crucial expertise to prepare for various challenges, whether they are talking about fighting counterfeit ID documents or terrorism,” Niels Annen said.
"Furthermore, a comprehensive transfer of technology and capacity-building in Bangladesh will take place. As a result of our cooperation, Bangladeshi passport holders will soon become the owners of one of the most sophisticated and secure types of passport in the world."