Govt signs deal with Germany to introduce e-passport

DHAKA, July 19, 2018 : The government today inked an agreement with Germany to introduce e-passports (electronic passport) for the country’s citizen’s to strengthen security and prevent fraudulence.

Bangladesh and Germany signed the deal on government-to-government arrangement for e-passports following the government’s decision to issue electronic passports alongside the machine readable passports (MRP).

Director General of Department of Immigration and Passports Major General M Masud Rezwan and Chief Executive Officer of Veridos Hans Wolfgang Kunz signed the deal on behalf of their respective sides at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal attended the signing ceremony as the chief guest while German State Minister for Foreign Affairs Niels Annen witnessed it.

Speaking on the occasion, Khan said the government has so far given over 2 crore MRPs to Bangladeshi nationals and more than 11 lakh machine readable visas (MRV) to foreign nationals for travelling Bangladesh.

“We are materializing the digital Bangladesh with the introduction of e-passports,” he added.

He said the MRPs would also be continued until the launching of the e-passports.

The government introduced MRPs and MRVs in 2010 with the help of Armed Forces Division to make the people’s foreign visits smooth and safe, he mentioned.

The minister said 118 countries have already introduced e-passports to make immigration management more accurate, easier, time-saving and convenient. The German state minister said that Bangladesh achieved remarkable progressed in a very short time after the independence.

“Through this agreement, Bangladesh is moving forward towards its challenge with the help of a German company” Niels Annen added.

Germany’s Veridos Company has experienced to work with Bangladesh, the state minister said.

As per the contract for e-passports, the Germany company will provide three million e-passport booklets. The cost of the project is Taka 4,569 crore and contract cost with Veridos is Taka 3,338 crore.

Among others, secretary of security service Farid Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury and officials concerned were present in the signing ceremony.