Singapore has world’s second most ‘powerful’ passport

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SINGAPORE – Singapore has the world’s second most “powerful” passport, according to a global ranking of the world’s passports.

The 2017 Passport Index, released on Thursday, placed Singapore behind Germany and joint-second with Sweden. Coming in joint-third were Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, the UK and The US.

Singapore’s ranking improved by one spot from the 2016 results. The Passport Index is developed by Arton Capital, a financial advisory firm specialising in investor programmes for residence and citizenship.

Arton Capital ranked the power of each country’s passport based on three factors. Firstly, they counted how many countries that a nation’s passportholders could visit without a visa, or by obtaining a visa on arrival. The two figures are then weighted against each other; and finally in the case of a tie, the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index is used as a final comparison.

Germany received a Visa-Free score of 157, compared to Singapore’s 156. A total of 199 passports worldwide were included in the index.

Another similar passport ranking last year also placed Germany at the top of the countries with the most travel freedom. The 2016 Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, released in February last year, had ranked Singapore at 5th place, with unrestricted access to 173 countries out of 219 countries.

Arton Capital’s study of passports factored in 199 destinations, with territories annexed to other countries such as Norfolk Island (Australia), French Polynesia (France), British Virgin Islands (Britain) excluded as they do not issue their own passports. — TODAY