THE LITTLE Red Dot has huge passport power, with a new index crowning Singapore’s passport the best to own of any country’s.
The annual Global Passport Power Rank for 2017 released by Arton Capital ranked passports according to the number of countries to which holders can travel visa-free. Singapore’s elevation to the top spot makes it the first time an Asian country to have the world’s most powerful passport.
The index shows that Singaporeans can travel to a whopping 159 countries visa-free or with visa on arrival. Paraguay recently removed requirements for Singaporeans, propelling it above now second-placed Germany.
Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office said “it is a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy.”
United States passports declined in power – with Arton noting that Turkey and the Central African Republic have revoked their visa-free status for US passport holders since Donald Trump took power.
Traditionally dominated by European passports, a number of other Asia-Pacific countries’ passports ranked in the top 10 in 2017. This included South Korea in equal third place with Sweden, Japan at number 4, Malaysia sixth, and New Zealand and Australia at number 7.
Hong Kong’s passport was lower down at number 16 – but still far more powerful than a mainland Chinese passport which was ranked 67th along with Sierra Leone, Ghana and Cuba.
Other lacklustre Asian passports included Indonesia (63), the Philippines (66), India (75) and Burma (Myanmar) at 84 just ahead of South Sudan and the Palestinian territories.
Being a citizen of Pakistan must make it a nightmare to get around, with its passport ranked at 93 along with Iraq and only just ahead of last-placed Afghanistan.
“Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today’s world,” shared Armand Arton founder and president of Arton Capital. “More and more people every year invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a second passport to offer better opportunity and security for their families.”