Malaysian passport ranked fourth most powerful in the world

19 Apr 2017 / 20:01 H.

PETALING JAYA: Financial advisory firm Arton Capital's Global Passport Power Rank 2017 has ranked the Malaysian passport as the fourth most powerful in the world.
The country is tied with seven other countries including Austria, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland, which provides its holders visa-free access to 156 countries.
It improved its position by introducing two visa-free changes with an overall visa-free score (VFS) of 156, an improvement from a VFS score of 154 and fifth ranking in January.
The VFS represents the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival.
The index which compares the passports of 193 United Nations member states and six territories provides global ranking of the world's passports in real time whenever new visa waivers and changes are announced.
The most powerful passport in the world is a tie between Singapore and Germany.
Topping the rankings for the first time, Singapore scored an overall VFS of 159 while Sweden ranked second with an overall VFS of 158.
While South Korea, the United States, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain and Norway made up for third place with a VFS score of 157.
With Malaysia and Singapore ranked highest in the Asean region, its fellow members remain far behind with neighbours Brunei (ranked 21), Thailand (ranked 54), Indonesia (67) and the Philippines (65).
Vietnam and Cambodia were tied at 77th in the world and Myanmar the lowest at 85th.
The least powerful passport in the world went to Afghanistan.
Under the index, the individual rank of each passport is measured via a three-tier method which includes VFS – includes visa-free (VF) and visa on arrival (VOA); VF portion of their score against VOA and United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index (UNDP HDI).
Used as a tie breaker, the UNDP HDI is a significant measure on the country's perception abroad.

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