Singapore Current Affairs - 2020

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Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index measures the access each country’s travel document affords. The Index is based on the data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

Ranking of the Jurisdictions

The Rankings of the jurisdictions based on the rankings in the Henley Passport Index are:

  • Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 jurisdictions.
  • South Korea and Singapore are at joint second position offering access to 189 jurisdictions.
  • China has jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
  • India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
  • European Union member states along with Norway and the US occupy the places behind the top three nations in the rankings.
  • The rankings of the USA and UK have continued to drop.
  • The top 5 positions are held by Japan (190 countries), Singapore, South Korea (189), France, Germany (188), Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187), and Luxembourg, Spain (186)
  • The bottom 5 positions are held by Eritrea (38), Yemen (37), Pakistan (33), Somalia, Syria (32)and Afghanistan, Iraq (30).


Christian Kalin, Chairman of the Henley & Partners’ Group who is also the creator of the index notes that the ranking is a bright spot in an increasingly isolationist world.

Open-door policies have the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world. The ascent in the rankings of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the international community.

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PM launches APIX banking technology platform at Fintech Festival in Singapore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a banking technology platform at Fintech Festival in Singapore. The fintech platform aims to connect companies to financial institutions globally and become a banking solution for two billion people without bank accounts worldwide. Fintech Festival is largest gathering of global Fintech companies and delegates ranging from the industry leaders to smaller start-ups.

APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange)

  • APIX is global fintech platorm to connect companies to financial institutions globally. It aims to become a banking solution for two billion people without bank accounts worldwide.
  • It is developed by Boston-headquartered Virtusa, especially for smaller banks, Tier 3 and 4, to reach out to people in the remote regions. It is designed by software experts based in Hyderabad, Colombo and London
  • APIX is touted as online global fintech marketplace and sandbox platform for financial institutions (FIs). It is claimed to be world’s first cross-border, open-architecture platform which will enable:
  • FIs and fintech companies to connect to one another through globally curated marketplace.
  • Collaborative experiments in sandbox among financial industry participants.
  • Adoption of APIs to drive digital transformation and financial inclusion across Asia-Pacific.

Benefits of APIX

  • It is designed to facilitate collaboration between financial institutions and fintechs, by putting different fintech offerings into democratised marketplace.
  • It will help to create more collaborative in fintech ecosystem, where fintechs from different areas can help bolster each other by helping with discovery, design and deployment of innovative solutions together.
  • It will allow all fintech-affiliated firms be it financial institutions to startups to access a service that suits their needs, regardless of distance.
  • It will support banks to reach out to those without bank accounts in 23 countries including the 10 ASEAN members as well as major markets such as India, and small nations including Fiji.

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