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Singapore passport 'most powerful' in the world: Passport Index

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With Paraguay removing its visa requirements for Singaporeans, Singapore now has a visa-free score of 159, making it the most powerful passport worldwide according to the Passport Index.

WITH Paraguay removing its visa requirements for Singaporeans, Singapore now has a visa-free score of 159, making it the most powerful passport worldwide according to the Passport Index.

The index, developed by global advisory for residence and citizenship solutions, Arton Capital, ranks passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a "visa-free score" according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free, or with visa on arrival.

Historically, the Top 10 most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany in the lead for the past two years. Since April 2017, Germany has shared the number one position with Singapore, which has been steadily moving up the ranks. Other Asian passports in the Top 20 include South Korea's in third place, Japan's in fourth and Malaysia's in sixth position with a score of 154.

"For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world," said managing director of Arton Capital's Singapore office, Philippe May.

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This is a "testament of Singapore's inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy", he added.

While Singapore has been rising up the ranks progressively, the US passport has been sliding down the leaderboard since President Donald Trump took office. It now has a score of 154, on a par with Malaysia. Most recently, Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders.

"Visa-free global mobility has become an important factor in today's world," said 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," he added.

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