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Thursday October 10, 2013 MYT 3:38:00 PM
Thursday October 10, 2013 MYT 3:42:32 PM
by victoria brown
PETALING JAYA: Malaysians passports have been ranked the ninth best in the world for travellers, as it enables Malaysians to travel to a total of 163 countries without a visa.
Henley & Partners, the global consulting firm in international residence and citizenship planning, has carefully monitored and analyzed visa regulations for many years.
As a result, they publish the yearly Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, a global ranking of countries based on the freedom of travel for their citizens.
In Henley & Partner’s Visa Restrictions Index Global Ranking for July 2013, Malaysia is ranked ninth place with a score of 163, which enables visa-free entry to 163 countries.
Malaysia has increased five ranks since the 2012 assessment where Malaysia was ranked 14th with visa-free travel to 153 countries, 10 less than the current 163.
In comparison, a Singaporean passport allows visa-free travel to 167 countries, putting the country three ranks above Malaysia on the index at sixth place.
Malaysia and Singapore were the only two Southeast Asian countries to make the top 10 in the 2013 index.
“This global ranking reflects the international freedom of travel for the passport holders of various nations, as well as the international relations and status of individual countries relative to others,” said Henley & Partners in a press release.
“In today’s globalized world, visa restrictions are an important tool for governments to control the movement of foreign nationals across borders. Visas are a standard requirement for most countries as certain non-nationals wish to enter their territory,” said Henley & Partners.
The 2013 index shows that the best countries in the world to have a passport from are the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden, who are tied at number one on the index list which enables visa-free entry to 173 countries.
The second rank is jointly held by Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and the USA scoring 172. Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands hold a joint third rank at 171.
The worst passport in the world for travellers to hold is that of Afghanistan, ranked at 93rd place, allowing visa-free entry to just 28 countries. At 92nd place is Iraq at 31 countries, and at 91st place is Pakistan and Somalia at 32 countries each.
Other Southeast Asian countries on the list are Brunei at the 19th spot (visa-free travel to 146 countries), Thailand at 60th (68 countries), Philippines at 69th (58 countries), Indonesia at 73rd (53 countries), Laos at 80th (46 countries), Vietnam at 81st (45 countries), and Myanmar at 86th (40 countries).
According to the index, there are 219 destination countries in total.
Henley & Partners' global ranking is produced in collaboration with IATA. In compiling the index, the unique global ranking methodology by Henley & Partners is applied to data provided by IATA´s Timatic passport and visa information database.
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