Arton Capital has released its latest Passport Index, with South Korea taking the lead with the world’s most powerful passport for the first time.
The index is used by governments from around the world to monitor the power of their passports – and is largely based on how many countries it grants you access to without a visa.
South Korea and Singapore now have the world’s most powerful passport with a score of 162, followed by Germany and Japan (161 countries), then Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, and Spain with a score of 160 countries.
“We are currently seeing not one but two Asian countries with the most powerful passports in the world,” said Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital.
“This is a testament to the increased global respect and trust Asian countries are commanding,” he said.
While South Africa has one of the strongest passports among African countries, it is ranked 47th on the list with a score of 95 countries open to visa-free travel.
However, this could change following the re-appointment of Malusi Gigaba as minister of home affairs, following a brief stint as minister of finance.
Before his appointment to the finance ministry, Gigaba had targeted visa-free travel for South Africans to the European Union, an initiative which has stalled somewhat in his absence.
Speaking to the BusinessTech at the end of January 2018, a Home Affairs spokesperson confirmed that visa-free travel to the EU was still on the cards, but that it was currently being decided on a country by country basis, with no time-frame as to when this may be completed.
Below is a list of the countries South Africans can currently visit visa-free:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea