Singapore citizens enjoy a luxury that most other countries don’t – as far as the power of its passport is concerned. This luxury is of travelling to 159 countries of the world – unhindered. Yes! you heard it right, and this is what has made Singapore’s passport – the most powerful one in the world. According to the Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital, Singapore permits its citizens to travel visa-free to 159 countries.
“For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world. It is a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy,” said Philippe May, managing director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office. While Singaporeans have every reason to cheer, the picture is rather gloomy for Indians. Ranking much below in the list, at number 75, India has fared slightly better than its previous ranking of 78; compared to its international counterparts like Bhutan (76), Nepal (89) Bangladesh (90) and Pakistan (93). However, according to Passport Index, Indian passport has shown poorer performance than African countries like Kenya (59), Namibia (67), Tunisia (63) and Zimbabwe (65).
So, why does Singapore’s passport get so much attention while India lags behind? Well, the parameter is the Visa-Free Score which is the rank given by the Passport Index to a number of countries based on visa-free visits and visa on arrival. The higher the VFS score, the better global movement its passport bearer enjoys. Indian passport has the permit for visa-free travel to just 51 countries much lower than the top-ranked Singapore.