Singapore Current Affairs

Singapore, China ink MoU for collaboration on Belt and Road Initiative

Singapore and China have inked Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote greater collaboration between companies from both countries in third-party markets along China’s ambitious Belt and Road routes.

The MoU will see the formation of a working group between Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Enterprise.

Key Facts

The working group will identify sectors and markets of mutual interest, organise business-matching activities and forums to facilitate third-party market cooperation between Singapore and Chinese companies under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Under it, both countries will work with commercial and policy banks, insurers and financial institutions to support financing and project structuring needs of third-party market ventures under BRI by companies from both sides.

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

BRI is an ambitious China’s ambitious development strategy and framework that aims to boost its connectivity and trade that will that will connect Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe. It was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. It comprises two components viz. the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The initiative is part of China’s revived 21st century Silk Road diplomacy that seeks to push it to take a bigger role in global affairs as a major global power. It is basically investment and trade promotion scheme aiming to deepen economic connections between China and rest of the world.

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Global Passport Power Rank 2017: India ranks 75

India’s passport was ranked 75th among 94 countries in recently released Global Passport Power Rank 2017. India was ranked three notches better than its previous ranking.

According to this index, Singapore has world’s most powerful passport, making it first Asian country to top it. Singapore is followed by Germany, Sweden and South Korea.

Key Facts

In this edition of index, Singapore’s passport scored visa-free score of 159.It means that approximately 3.4 million holders of Singaporean passports can now travel to 159 countries either without visa or can have one issued on arrival.

Historically, top 10 most powerful passports in world were mostly European, with Germany having lead for past two years. Since early 2017, number one position was shared by Singapore with Germany and steadily it became number one.

US passport was in sixth place, alongside Malaysia, Ireland and Canada. US passport ranking has fallen down since President Donald Trump took office after Turkey and Central African Republic (CAR) revoked visa-free status of US passport holders.

India, which was listed 78th in 2015 has improved its ranking, figuring at 75th position with visa-free score of 51. Afghanistan was placed at last position of 94 rank with a score of 22, followed by Pakistan and Iraq at 93 with a score of 26, Syria at 92 with score of 29 and Somalia at 91 with score of 34.

Global Passport Power Rank

The Global Passport Power Rank is released by Canada based global financial advisory firm Arton Capital. It has become most popular interactive online tool to display, sort and rank world’s passports. The index ranks national passports by cross-border access they bring, assigning visa-free score according to number of countries passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

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