Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Singapore now has world's strongest passport, United States is bumped down

It's for the first time ever that an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world It's for the first time ever that an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world
Lillian Steele | 28 October, 2017, 01:12

Having achieved a visa-free score of 159, the Singapore passport is now the "most powerful passport in the world", guaranteeing a visa-less visit to 159 countries, making it top the list of powerful passports, which is assessed on the basis of the amount of cross-border access it brings to the holder.

In recent months, Singapore and Germany have been tied for first place, but Singapore rose to the number-one spot after Paraguay recently removed visa requirements, Arton Capital said on October 25.

Germany and Sweden ranked second and third, with a score of 158 and 157, respectively in the index. Meanwhile, the U.S. passport's usefulness has fallen since President Donald Trump took office. This move was enough to propel the Southeast Asian country to the top spot, as their residents now have easy access to 159 countries around the globe.

"It is a testament of Singapore's inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy", said Philippe May, managing director of the firm's Singapore office.

According to Arton Capital, since US President Donald Trump took office, Americans have become less welcome across the globe, with Turkey and the Central African Republic being the most recent nations to revoke visa-free status, leaving the US with a score of 154 and behind 18 other nations.

Historically, it's been the German's who have been the owners of the world's most powerful passport. It was developed by Canada-based global consultancy Arton Capital.

Singaporeans with existing valid passports do not need to replace their current ones.

The worst scorers are Afghanistan at 94th spot with a visa-free score of 22, while Pakistan and Iraq are both at 93 with a score of 26. The decline in the United States passport's rank could be due to the Turkey and the Central African Republic revoking their visa-free status to USA passport holders, recently.

"The rise of economic nationalism, especially during election campaigns, has slowed the momentum of the multilateral free trade agenda", he said.

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