Brunei passport among top three in SEA

Azlan Othman

Brunei passport holders have free access to 166 countries and territories and scored high in terms of taxation.

But more needs to be done in personal freedom and global perception.

The Sultanate ranked 47th globally among 199, said a report released by Nomad Capitalist on Tuesday.

The Global offshore consulting firm ranked 199 economies in terms of passport strength based on five categories: Visa-free travel, international taxation laws, global perception, dual citizenship and personal freedom.

The ranking reflects Brunei passport holders’ capability to travel to 155 countries and territories.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore has the most powerful passport with visa-free access to 190 destinations and a high level of personal freedom, followed by Malaysia with 178 countries and Brunei.

Nine of the 10 top passports were from Europe, with Singapore being the only non-European country to break into the top 10.

Sweden, Luxembourg, and Ireland are at the top as the ultimate passports to hold.

All three passports earned an index ranking of 114.

The worst passport belongs to Afghanistan. This passport only allows entry into 26 countries visa-free, its citizens are often refused entry to a substantial number of countries and also encounter substantial hostility, its citizens are strictly forbidden to hold other citizenships and also experience less freedom.

Iraq is second-worst, with travel permitted to 28 countries, low perception from other countries and low levels of freedom. Yemen is third from the bottom.

The Index ranks passports on five factors Visa-Free Travel 50 per cent; Taxation of Citizens 20 per cent; Perception 10 per cent; Dual Citizenship 10 per cent; and Personal Freedom 10 per cent

The Index is the result of aggregating data from nearly 20 unique sources, and based on priorities.