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Irish passport among most powerful | Ireland

Irish passport among most powerful | Ireland”

The island nation doesn't share the top spot with any other countries.

The Henley Passport Index ranks Taiwan's passport as the 29th strongest in the world, a ranking shared by Costa Rica. It analyses how many countries a passport holder can enter visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis.

Elsewhere in the region, China jumped nearly 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year. The Singaporean and South Korean passports are in joint second place on 189 countries.

The South Korean passport was third in the previous index, released in October a year ago, and rose a place in the ranking due to a new visa-on-arrival agreement with India.

Germany and France remain in third place with a visa-free score of 188.

Just behind them are Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden on 187, followed by Luxembourg and Spanish passports which can be used to travel to 186 countries.

European countries also performed favourably, with European Union member states (along with Norway and the US) filling in the places behind the top three nations - although the United Kingdom continues to drop down the rankings, along with the US.

The UAE climbed five places up the rankings, from 27th place at the beginning of 2018, to 22nd place now. A year ago, Germany ranked first with 177 countries open for non-visa trips.

The UAE gained more visa exemptions for its citizens in 2018 than any other country in the world.

In further demonstrations of Asian passport power, China moved five places up the rankings from the beginning of 2018, from 74th to 69th, while Cambodia (84th), Laos (86th), and Myanmar (90th) have each moved up four places.

The index, compiled by global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners, says it bases its ranking on "exclusive" data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and "is enhanced by extensive, ongoing research by the Henley & Partners Research Department".

According to the index, Taiwanese travelers hold the seventh most powerful passport in Asia, behind Japan which is number one globally, and then Singapore and South Korea, which are both tied for second in the global ranking.

"The general spread of open-door policies has the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world", he said in a statement.



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