SINGAPORE: Singaporeans hold the world's second-most powerful passport, according to a Passport Index devised by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital.
The index, which was updated on Thursday (Jan 12), saw Germany take first place with a visa-free score of 157, closely followed by Singapore and Sweden which were both ranked second with a visa-free score of 156.
Singapore overtook South Korea to become the highest-ranked Asian passport, according to a press release from Arton Capital.
In third place were passports from Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, with a visa-free score of 155.
Afghanistan came in last in the index.
To determine the individual rank of each passport, Arton Capital looks at three factors: The country's visa-free score - which includes visa-free and visa on arrival; the visa-free portion of their score versus visa on arrival; and the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index is used as a tie breaker.
A total of 199 passports, consisting of the 193 United Nations member countries and six territories - Taiwan, Macau (SAR China), Hong Kong (SAR China), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory and the Vatican - are considered for the index. Territories annexed to other countries, such as Norfolk Island, the French Polynesia and British Virgin Islands who do not issue their own passports are not considered as destinations, the index said.
Arton Capital, which updates the index every year, specialises in investor programmes for residence and citizenship.
In a similar ranking by the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index released last year, Singapore was ranked joint-fifth in travel freedom for the third year in a row. Germany came up tops in Henley & Partners' 2016 index as well.