SINGAPORE: Singapore's passport has been announced as the most powerful in the world as it secured the top spot in the Passport Index' most powerful ranking with a visa-free score of 159.
This is the first time an Asian country has been announced as having the most powerful passport, according to the Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital.
The index says that Singapore passport holders enjoy visa-free access to 173 countries.
The ranking has come after Paraguay eased its visa requirement for Singaporean passport holders.
Germany and Sweden ranked second and third, with a score of 158 and 157, respectively.
The Passport Index developed by Arton Capital ranks national passports by the cross-border access that they bring by assigning a "visa-free score," according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.
The passports of 193 United Nations member countries and six territories were considered.
Historically, the top 10 most powerful passports in the world tend to be European, with Germany in the lead for the past two years, according to a press release issued on October 25.
Since early 2017, the top position was shared with Singapore, which was steadily moving up the ranks.
Other Asian passports in the top 20 include those of South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.
On the other hand, the United States passport has fallen in the ranking since President Donald Trump took office, according to the index.
Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to the U.S. passport holders, recently.
Singapore was also fourth this year in the Visa Restrictions Index, another ranking of travel freedom, which uses a different method of calculating how “powerful” a passport is.
The list is as follows:
1. Singapore (159)
2. Germany (158)
3. Sweden, South Korea (157)
4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom (156)
5. Luxemburg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal (155)
6. Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States of America (154)
7. Austria, Greece, New Zealand (153)
8. Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland (152)
9. Hungary (150)
10. Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia (149)