With the looming rumors of trade wars, armed conflicts, fears of terrorism and increasingly isola-tionist stances by major world powers, the international business picture is anything but clear these days. Yet globalization marches on with very little signs of letup; the World Bank forecasts the global economy will grow 3.7 percent year over year in 2018, a rate of increase that’s remained pretty consistent in the years since the Great Recession of 2008-09.
Yet another yardstick of the widening impact of global business is the ease with which business travelers can move from country to country; fewer barriers to travel generally translate to more international business and a rising tide for everybody’s boat. A careful examination of one such metric, the Henley & Partners Passport Index, shows a steady rise in the number of countries that have more liberal entry requirements– either no visas, visas on arrival or e-visa policies.
In 2018, Japan and Singapore rank No. 1 in the world for the most countries allowed in under these less stringent rules; each allowed in passport holders from 180 other countries, whereas a decade ago that number was 154 and 150 respectively. The US, Canada, Ireland and Switzerland held the No. 5 spot, allowing entry to citizens from 176 countries without visas, or who receive visas on arrival or e-visas.
However while some business travelers may think easy passage from one country to the next seems to be univ