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Sarawak aims to establish its own sovereign wealth fund, in talks with Norway for knowledge sharing

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is the largest in the world with some USD$1.4 trillion (≈RM6.16 trillion) in assets under management. It is also one of the most successful ones given its good governance, transparency, importance of ethical values in investments.

Recently, the Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has mooted the same idea that the state should have its own sovereign wealth fund to preserve its wealth for the future generations.

According to Bernama, Abang Johari has announced that the state government is currently in serious talks with Norway in an earnest effort to form its own sovereign wealth fund.

Source: FMT

He is currently on a 2-day visit to Norway as part of his week-long itinerary to Europe and said that the widely acclaimed success of the European country’s sovereign wealth fund is a standard that Sarawak needed to benchmark on.

“Given the many parallels between Sarawak and Norway, Sarawak was particularly interested in the lessons to be learnt from Norway, given that it had around 25 years of experience in developing the fund,” he said.

Source: Bernama

He explained that both Norway and Sarawak have large territories, are sparsely populated and blessed with considerable natural resources including oil and gas as well as hydropower.

He added that both share the common desire to move towards sustainable development to preserve the world for future generations.

Norway has considerable knowledge and experience in establishing and managing a sovereign wealth fund. Since its inception in 1996, Norway’s success with its sovereign wealth fund has been globally recognised.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said Sarawak developed a thinking around creating a sovereign fund and the state government had benchmarked many similar funds around the world and had found that of the Norwegians being the largest, with renowned good governance practices and clear policies in fund management.

When meeting officials of the Norges Bank Investment Management which had been appointed to manage the Norwegian wealth fund, Abang Johari said he was informed that the fund called The Government Pension Fund Global received its first injection of oil money for two billion Kroner from Norway’s government in 1996. 

“In 2021, it reported a total value of US$1.34 trillion with all investments in equities and real estate outside the country,” he said.

What do you think about this plan by the Sarawak government? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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