Passports, Spotify, and Exports to China
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Gabriel Cohen, our Domingo Brief columnist and expert on US vs. China competition for South American trade, joins us today to talk about LatAm’s exports to China.
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How powerful is your passport?
Puerto Rico and Colombia’s music dominance
Exporting goods to China
Make sure you check out the comment of the week at the bottom!
The Henley Passport Index ranks the world's passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without needing a visa. The index tracks passports and assigns a score based on 227 destinations passport holders can enter without a visa. For example, Mexico has a score of 160, meaning that its citizens can get instant access to 160 out of the 227 countries in the world.
As you can see, passport strength scores range from 193 for Japan and Singapore to 27 for Afghanistan. This begs the question, what factors contribute to a passport's power?
A country's passport strength indicates how much risk its citizens pose when entering a foreign country. Will they overstay their visas and become unregistered migrants? Do they pose security threats? If citizens from a country are considered less risky across these categories, the country's passport will be more powerful.
Citizens from countries with a higher GDP per capita enjoy more visa-free destinations. People from such countries are less likely to become unauthorized migrants by overstaying their visas or to seek asylum. Additionally, governments are more likely to open their borders to such citizens as they often come with economic benefits like trade, tourism, and investment.
Countries that are more “fragile,” as indicated by factors like violence, crime, state legitimacy, and inequality, will enjoy lower levels of travel freedom. This is because their citizens are more likely to overstay, request asylum, and pose security threats.
Most Latin American nations fall in the top half of passport strength, and Chile and Argentina even break the top 20. Chile is the only LatAm country that forms part of the select few that are part of USA’s visa waiver program. However, four LatAm countries lag far behind in this regard: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
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