Palau ranks 48th in the list of most powerful passports in the world according to the 2023 Henley Passport Index (HPI) with Palauan passport holders able to travel visa-free to 120 destinations.

The HPI published its first quarter update early this month listing 199 passports and a total of 227 travel destinations.

The HPI has combined its data and World Bank GDP data to come up with the ranking.

“Our revelatory new research ranks all 199 passports in the world in terms of their Henley Passport Power (HPP) score, a newly developed term that indicates the percentage of global GDP each passport provides to its holders visa-free. What emerges is an unequivocal link between passport strength and economic power.”

Palau has moved up from its ranking from 50th place in 2019 to 48th place.

In the latest ranking, Japanese passports top the ranking and Japanese passport holders are given visa-free access to 193 destinations.

At the bottom of the ranking is the Afghanistan passport provides visa-free access to only 12% of the world and less than 1% of global economic output.

Among the Pacific Island Countries, Samoa and the Solomon Islands have the most powerful passport with their holders able to travel to 132 destinations without a need for a prior visa. Globally, Samoa and the Solomon Islands are ranked 40th.

Tonga is in 41st place, Tuvalu is in 43rd place and Kiribati is in 45th place. Vanuatu dropped to 56th place which used to be ranked 42nd place in 2019.

FSM and RMI fall behind Palau’s ranking.

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