| Azlan Othman |
BRUNEIAN passport was ranked 17th in the world for travellers in a recent survey, based on the number of visa-free countries its holders can travel to out of 174 destinations.
According to the 2014 Visa Restrictions Index, holders of Bruneian passports can travel to 150 countries without visas.
Singapore and Malaysia were the only two Southeast Asian countries that made it to the top 10 in the 2014 index.
Singapore was ranked fifth in the world, as Singaporeans can travel visa-free to 170 countries, while Malaysia was ranked eighth, as Malaysians can travel visa-free to 166 countries.
Among Southeast Asian countries, Brunei was ranked third, followed by Thailand (62nd in the world, visa-free travel to 69 countries), the Philippines (68th, 62 countries), Indonesia (72nd, 56 countries), Laos (80th, 48 countries), Vietnam (81st, 47 countries) and Myanmar (86th, 42 countries).
“In today’s globalised world, visa restrictions play an important role in controlling the movement of foreign nationals across borders.
“Almost all countries now require visas from certain non-nationals who wish to enter their territory,” said Henley & Partners, a global consulting firm in international residence and citizenship planning, which held the survey.
“Visa requirements are also an expression of the relationships between individual nations, and generally reflect the relations and status of a country within the international community of nations,” it said in a statement.
At the top of the Index, jointly, were Finland, Sweden, Germany, the United States and Britain. Citizens of these countries are able to travel visa-free to 174 destinations.
The worst passport in the world for travellers to hold is from Afghanistan, ranked at number 94th, as it allows visa-free entry to just 28 countries, followed by Iraq (31 countries), and Pakistan and Somalia at 32 countries each.