Bangladesh and Germany on Thursday signed a government-to-government (G2G) agreement on e-passport for citizens of the country.
Director General of Department of Immigration and Passports Maj Gen Md Masud Rezwan and Chief Executive Officer of Veridos GmbH Hans-Wolfgang Kunz signed the deal on behalf of their respective sides at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan was present as the chief guest at the programme while Minister of State at German Foreign Ministry Niels Annen as the special guest.
The agreement was for the production and use of biometric e-passports in Bangladesh. In his speech, Asaduzzaman said, the signing of the agreement is a step forward.
Besides, e-gates will be installed at every airport and land port all over the country, he said.
The government took the initiative to introduce e-passport for easing the immigration activities, the minister added. “It’s a commitment between the heads of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany to introduce e-passport. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed an MoU with Germany on February 18, 2017,” he said.
In his speech, Minister of State at German Foreign Ministry Niels Annen said, “Electronic passport is the most sophisticated and secured type of passport in the world.”
Farid Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury, Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs (Services Division Secretary), said, “Bangladesh has ranked 89th in the Global Passport Power Rank 2018.”On June 21, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved a project to issue e-passports alongside existing MRPs in line with the international demand as some countries, including Germany, do not accept MRPs.
The project titled “Introduction of e-Passport and Automated Border Control Management in Bangladesh” will be implemented from July 2018 to June 2028 with the government’s own financing.
The project will also be implemented at all the 72 regional passport offices in 64 districts, some 80 Bangladesh missions abroad, disaster recovery centre in Jashore, three international airports in the country, automated border control system at two land ports and some 22 other border control system, some 72 SB or DSB offices and the reference point at Munich in Germany.
During the making of the e-passports, demographic information, fingerprints of all ten fingers, retina scans and digital signatures will be collected from the citizens.
The first chunk of two million e-passports will come from Germany after printing and the remaining 28 million e-passports will be made in Bangladesh after installing necessary machinery and data will be transferred to the e-passport database from the existing machine readable passport database.