TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In its annual Passport Index ranking comparing the relative strength of the world’s passports, the British consultancy firm Henley and Partners listed Taiwan as having the 32nd strongest passport in the world, and the eighth strongest in the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan retained the top spot for the third year in a row as its passport holders can enter 191 countries without a visa or a visa on arrival. In second place was Singapore, followed by South Korea, Germany, Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Sweden, to round out the top 10.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwanese travelers hold the eighth most powerful passport in the Asia-Pacific region, behind Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Brunei, according to the index. Taiwan towered over its neighbors China and the Philippines, which came in 72nd and 76th place, respectively.
Taiwan passport holders can visit 146 countries, while China passport owners can only visit less than half that number at 71 countries. Philippine passport holders can only visit 67 countries without prior visa approval.
The weakest passport in the world is Afghanistan at 107th. This is followed by Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Nepal and the Palestinian territories, North Korea and Sudan.
Henley and Partners ranks 199 passports in terms of the number of countries their holders can enter without prior visa approval, based on data provided by the Air Transport Association (ATA). The report points out that there is a growing gap in the freedom of travel among countries.
The report stated the global mobility gap is the largest since the establishment of the index in 2006. In stark contrast to the 191 countries accessible to Japan, the Afghan passport only affords holders visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 26 destinations.