Prime Minister Sogavare holding a sample e-passport. Photo credit: OPMC.

Prime Minister Sogavare holding a sample e-passport. Photo credit: OPMC.

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.

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