Bangladeshi passports face tremendous undue difficulties
It is a sad fact that relative to the passports of most nations of the world, the Bangladesh passport is woefully powerless. Holders of Bangladeshi passports face tremendous undue difficulties when travelling to foreign countries, sometimes being subject to harassment in foreign lands for no reason whatsoever. It is all the more disheartening to see that in the Henley Passport Index -- the definitive global passport ranking -- the Bangladesh passport has slipped three notches, down to place 101 from last year’s 98th.
Currently, Bangladesh gets visa-free access to 41 countries. In comparison, Japan, which is at number one, has visa-free access to 191 nations. With great economic ambitions, and middle-income status within our sights, the fact is, we must perform better on the passport front.
Bangladesh now has strong economic ties with many countries, and it only makes sense for these relationships to be reflected in the ease of movement. In reality, when Bangladeshi passport-holders seek to travel, they are usually subject to endless visa requirements, many of them quite illogical.
We need a robust and healthy foreign policy, and a crop of qualified diplomats who will not only lift the esteem of our nation in the eyes of the world, but increase the power, access, and respectability of holding a Bangladesh passport. Bangladesh is the eighth largest country in the world by population, and is poised to be a major player in the global economy. The green booklet carried by our citizens around the world should be accorded the respect that reflects this fact.