| Azlan Othman |
BRUNEI Darussalam’s passport has been ranked the 21st most powerful in the world, according to the 2019 Passport Index published by British consultancy firm Henley and Partners.
The annual compilation ranks the relative strength of the world’s passports.
Bruneians can enter 165 countries globally visa-free.
The press release noted that “Asian countries dominate when it comes to passport power in 2019”.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese travellers can access 190 countries without visa. Citizens of the second-ranked countries, Singapore and South Korea, can access 189. Malaysian travellers can enter 179 countries, while citizens of Hong Kong can visit 169 without a visa.
Brunei’s rank in this index almost mirrors an earlier ranking by Arton Capitol, which rates the country’s passport as the world’s 18th most powerful – tied with Barbados, an increase of four spots from its previous ranking for 2018.
The 2018 Henley Passport Index, released in October last year, ranked Brunei’s passport as the 20th most powerful in the world, up two places from the 2017 report.
Henley and Partners’ Group Chairman Christian Kalin said that despite a trend towards isolationism, most countries in the world remain committed to collaboration and support a proactive approach to foreign affairs, which includes investing in “international mobility”.