Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the Minister of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration Elijah Doromuala were recently shown samples of the Solomon Islands electronic passports.
A government statement said the two were given a demonstration on how electronic passports are produced by the IRIS Group contracted by the government to produce electronic passports for Solomon Islands.
The statement said IRIS Group is a Malaysian company which pioneered the world’s first electronic passport and national multi-application smart card.
It also implemented the Malaysian Electronic Passport and MyKAD – the Malaysian Government Multi-purpose Card in April 2001.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, George Kosui said the demo shows the company’s seriousness about the e-passport project which is now half way towards completion.
Mr Kosui said the e-passports will take about a few months to complete, adding the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government and the IRIS Group are serious about this project.
The e-passports are same as traditional passports except that they are embedded with a small integrated circuit or chip in the back cover.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare thanked the IRIS Group for showing him and Minister Elijah Doromuala samples of the Solomon Islands e-passports.
Mr Sogavare said he is looking forward to the completion of the e-passport project.
The Prime Minister said the project is one of DCC’s initiatives to ease travelling for Solomon Islands passport-holders.