Germany: Officially country with most powerful passport

Bangladesh ranked position 96 has visa-free access to 38 countries

Business Insider    

10 January, 2018 22:51 PM

Germany: Officially country with  most powerful passport

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Germany is officially the country with the most powerful passport in the world, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index. Singapore no longer has the world’s most powerful passport.

It's the fifth year in a row that the European country has topped Henley's list, which takes into account the number of countries a passport holder can visit without a visa.

The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information.

German citizens can now visit 177 countries, up one from 2017, according to the report.

In October 2017, a separate list, the Global Passport Power Rank produced by advisory firm Arton Capital, named Singapore as the most powerful passport in the world. However, Germany has since reclaimed the top spot in this ranking also, meaning its passport truly is the most valuable.

Here are the top 15 most powerful passports, and the number of countries their holders can visit visa-free:

1. Germany 177

2. Singapore 176

3. Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, UK 175

4. Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland 174

5. Ireland, South Korea, Portugal, US 173

6. Canada 172

7. Australia, Greece, New Zealand 171

8. Czech Republic, Iceland 170

9. Malta 169

10. Hungary 168

11. Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia 167

12. Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia 166

13. Estonia 165

14. Poland 163

15. Monaco 162

Within Southeast Asia, the rankings have "remained stable", according to the index, Malaysia ranks second in the region, and 12th on the global scale as their passport holders can travel without visas to 166 countries. Indonesia moved up seven places to rank 72nd globally after signing visa agreements with countries like Qatar in 2017.
In other parts of the region, China ranks 75th globally, climbing up the most in North Asia according to the index. Its visa-free travel now extends to 60 countries, up from last year's 51.

Within South Asia the ranking is:

1. Maldives 58   

2. Bhutan 83  

3. India 86

4. Sri Lanka 93 

5. Bangladesh 96

6. Nepal 98

7. Pakistan 101

8. Afghanistan 104 

Bangladesh ranked position 96 has visa-free access to 38 countries while Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan remain at the bottom of the index for the second year in a row, each able to access 30 or fewer countries visa-free.

Dr Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley & Partners, thinks that the need for visa-free access is greater than ever.
"Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale," he said. "The Henley Passport Index shows individuals where they lie on the spectrum of global mobility, revealing the strength that their passport has in relation to other passports."