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Taiwan passport still ranked 29th 'most powerful' in the world

2019/01/09 21:29:08

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) Taiwan's passport remains the 29th most powerful in the world, according to the latest edition of an index that ranks passports according to the number of countries around the globe that provide holders with visa-free access.

The 2019 Henley Passport Index published on Wednesday was based on data from the International Air Transport Association, and "supplemented, enhanced, and updated using extensive in-house research and open-source online data," its website says.

The index showed that the Republic of China (Taiwan) passport maintained the same ranking this year as in 2018 although its holders now have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 149 instead of 148 destinations.

The Taiwan passport ranking at 29th was higher than that of its neighbors China and the Philippines at 69th and 74th, respectively, the index showed.

The index's ranking is somewhat misleading, however, since there were actually 57 countries with passports that ranked above Taiwan's this year.

That is because the index allots one ranking position for each number of countries granting a passport visa-free or visa-on-arrival access, regardless of ties.

The index covers 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations, which are updated in real-time throughout the year, as and when visa-policy changes comes into effect, according to the Henley Passport Index website.

This year, Japan's passport topped the list again with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 190 countries, while Singapore and South Korea were second with 189, the index showed. France and Germany shared third place with access to 188 countries, while Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden were fourth with access to 187 countries, the index showed.

Among other Asian countries, Malaysia ranked 12th, Hong Kong 19th and Thailand 68th.

At the bottom of the rankings was Afghanistan whose passport offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to only 30 countries.

(By William Yen)