Secure ID production in Iraq: Crucial for society and sovereignty

Sophisticated and highly secure electronic passport and ID card production for an emerging society – under Iraqi sovereignty.

There is no denying that secure identification of individuals requires a reliable registration of citizens – and vice versa. What is self-evident for developed industrial nations has now become indispensable for emerging countries as well.

In an ongoing project, Veridos has provided the Republic of Iraq with secure national ID cards and a reliable, consistent national register – Iraq’s strong new ID backbone.

When it comes to the question of sovereignty, which is an utterly national issue, the logical next step is a domestic identity document production site. Therefore the Iraqi Ministry of Interior has signed a contract with Veridos and agreed to a partnership for the building and operation of a production site for Iraqi security documents.

The entire production process of the documents will be in Iraqi hands. Equipped with state-of-the-art production technology and located close to Baghdad International Airport, the plant’s equipment will make it possible to implement all the latest security features in identity documents. In the first phase, the complete production chain for passports was installed. The first production equipment for card production will soon be finished as well. After this most important and initial step, the value chain will be increased by adding production capabilities for other official documents, such as employee batches or driver’s licenses.

A giant step on Iraq’s path to economic and social growth

After unsettled times and long years of civil war, the Republic of Iraq is now back on track to economic and social consolidation. For 2019 economic growth of 3.9% is predicted. And even more importantly, the people of Iraq are regaining their cultural life, business confidence and access to digital technologies.

The fact that nearly 60% of Iraq’s growing population are under the age of 25 represents an enormous potential for economic and social growth. With regard to this future generation, basic trust in official authorities is a key factor for economic development. The transition to electronic identification under Iraqi sovereignty will further strengthen public safety, providing authorities with essential data and restoring the trust of investors.

One can only guess the positive effects for a country that was still relying on more than 40,000 civil record books to keep track of its citizens in the second decade of the 3rd millennium. It has got quite an impact on Iraq with its heterogenous population of nearly 40 million people and mainly characterized by great religious, cultural and ethnic diversity.

Highly secure ID production

The issuing of the new eID card was the initial step for establishing a reliable national register for the first time. Now the Ministry of Interior and Veridos are partnering to construct a new production site for the supply of Iraqi security documents: state-of-the-art eID cards and ePassports.

The country is now able to produce its own electronic ID cards and passports on site. Veridos will continue to provide related services and maintenance. All the required technical know-how is being transferred to local employees, creating more than 100 jobs for highly skilled workers from Iraq.

A long-term partnership

Issuing the new national eID card was the first result of a quite successful and long-term Iraqi-German partnership. The Iraqi government and Veridos have agreed to continue their cooperation by implementing further sophisticated identity solutions projects.

Interior Minister Qassim al Arraji and German Ambassador Dr. Cyrill Nunn took part in the ceremony that officially kicked off the next stage – the on-site production of ICAO* compliant passports in a highly secured compound of the new plant. For the Republic of Iraq, this new production site represents a significant milestone.

Qassim Al-Arraji, Interior Minister of the Republic of Iraq, said:

“The first security document manufacturing site with high-tech equipment is now to be built in our country, creating more than 100 jobs for highly skilled workers in and around the factory. We have already successfully implemented a state-of the-art electronic ID system with Veridos, including a pioneering national register. We are pleased to continue this productive partnership.”

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Key facts

  • Project start in 2015
  • Locally based security document manufacturing site
  • Production of passports and ID cards in a highly secured compound
  • Capability to produce a full range of secure tokens
  • Essential improvement of public security
  • Closed loop value chain, step-by-step expandable