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NZ passport the world's seventh-most powerful

Newshub logoNewshub 13/01/2018

© Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

New Zealand's passport has been ranked the world's equal-seventh most powerful, allowing visa-free access to 171 countries.

The Henley Passport Index, announced this week, puts Germany's passport at the top, ahead of the likes of Singapore, the US, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy and the UK.

New Zealand is equal with Australia and Greece.

German passport owners have visa-free access to 177 countries.

The bottom-ranked countries are Afghanistan (24 countries visa-free), Iraq (27) and Syria (28).

The biggest climbers on the 2018 index were Georgia (up 15 places to 53rd), Ukraine (up 14 places to 44th) and China (up 10 places to 75th).

Bangladesh has suffered the largest decline from its index in the last decade, dropping 23 spots in the rankings, while Africa was the continent with the biggest decline in travel freedom.

Historical data for the index spans 13 years, according to its authors, Henley & Partners, using information from the International Air Transport Association.

Christian H Kalin, group chairman of Henley & Partners, says the need for visa-free access is greater than ever.

"By and large, countries either improved or maintained their access compared to 2017," he said.

"These findings reflect the fact that, while certain countries are tightening their borders, most are in fact becoming more open, as they seek to tap into the immense economic value that tourism, international commerce and migration can bring."

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