Politics

Malaysia’s Sarawak seeks Norway’s help to set up sovereign wealth fund


The eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak has entered talks with Norway to set up and manage a sovereign wealth fund from oil and gas revenue based on the Nordic country’s model, the state’s Premier Abang Johari Tun Openg said during a working visit to Norway’s capital Oslo on May 12. He noted that Sarawak was “keen to learn” from Norway’s experience in setting up and managing the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global, which was established in 1996 and currently has some $1.4 trillion in assets under management from investments all over the world. “Of great…

The eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak has entered talks with Norway to set up and manage a sovereign wealth fund from oil and gas revenue based on the Nordic country’s model, the state’s Premier Abang Johari Tun Openg said during a working visit to Norway’s capital Oslo on May 12.

He noted that Sarawak was “keen to learn” from Norway’s experience in setting up and managing the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Global, which was established in 1996 and currently has some $1.4 trillion in assets under management from investments all over the world.

“Of great interest to Sarawak is that Norway has the largest global sovereign fund, renowned for good governance practices with clear policies in fund management,” Openg said in a statement after meeting officials of Norges Bank Investment Management, the division of Norway’s central bank Norges Bank that manages the sovereign wealth fund.

Increase in revenue from oil and gas

The premier said Sarawak had been producing oil and gas since 1910 but only recently experienced a significant increase in revenue from these resources.

“Given the energy transition towards green fuel, we expect this will be a temporary increase lasting for at most until the next generation, or around 25 years. As such, I believe that in line with our desire to develop a multi-generational sustainability strategy for Sarawak, we should not use up all the extra revenue now,” the premier noted.

“Lessons to be learnt from Norway”

“We should put some aside for the benefit of future generations in the form of a sovereign fund,” he said, adding that Sarawak’s government has benchmarked many similar funds around the world.

“Given the many parallels between Sarawak and Norway, Sarawak is particularly interested in the lessons to be learnt from Norway, given that it has around 25 years’ experience in developing the fund,” Openg said.



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