Sarawak seeks to adopt Norway’s sovereign wealth fund model

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KUCHING: Sarawak will engage with Norway to set up and manage a sovereign wealth fund from oil and gas revenue based on the Nordic country’s model.

Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak was keen to learn from Norway’s experience in managing the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.

“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,” he said in a statement released from Oslo after meeting Norges Bank Investment Management officials there on Thursday.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, formed in 1996 to manage the country’s oil revenue, is managed by Norges Bank.

Called the Government Pension Fund Global, it reported a total value worth US$1.34 trillion (RM5.89 trillion) last year with investment in equities and real estate outside Norway.

Abang Johari was on a two-day visit to Norway after delivering a keynote address at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam, Holland, earlier this week.

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

“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.

“We should put some aside for the benefit of future generations in the form of a sovereign fund,” he added.

Abang Johari said Sarawak was keen to engage in a dialogue with Norway to understand how it developed, structured and governed its fund, and to hear its recommendations for the state.

“We would also like to hear from you what your parameters are for investing in places like Sarawak and what we can do to ensure we are high up in your list of attractive and ethically sound places to invest part of your fund,” he told the officials.