Singaporeans hold world's second-most 'powerful' passport

Singapore was up one spot from last year's index. It was joint-second with Sweden, with a visa-free score of 156.
Singapore was up one spot from last year's index. It was joint-second with Sweden, with a visa-free score of 156.

Singaporeans are holding on to the world's second-most "powerful" passport, according to a recent global ranking.

Singapore was joint-second with Sweden, with a visa-free score of 156, while Germany - which scored one point better - took the top spot in the 2017 Passport Index.

Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States all tied for third at 155 points.

Singapore moved up one spot from last year's index and overtook South Korea to become the highest- ranked Asian passport.

The passports at the bottom of the index are from Iraq (92), Pakistan (93) and Afghanistan (94).

The index calculates each passport's visa-free score by using three steps: counting the number of countries each passport holder can visit without a visa or where they can obtain a visa on arrival; comparing the two figures; and using the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index as a tie-breaker.

Compiled by financial advisory firm Arton Capital, the index looks at 193 countries and six territories.

A different global passport ranking last year placed Singapore fifth, while Germany was also in first place.

That ranking, the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2016, ranked passports according to the total number of other countries citizens have visa-free travel to.

It was produced in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'Singaporeans hold world's second-most 'powerful' passport'. Print Edition | Subscribe