Malaysia’s Sarawak in Talks with Norway to Form Sovereign Fund

The Malaysian state of Sarawak is in talks with Norway about setting up a sovereign wealth fund, Premier Abang Johari Tun Openg (picture) said in a statement on Saturday.

Sarawak, home to some of the biggest aluminum smelters and hydroelectric dams in Southeast Asia, would try to achieve the same standard and success of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the premier said after a meeting with Norges Bank Investment Management officials at the bank’s headquarters in Oslo. Norges Bank manages The Government Pension Fund Global.

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

Sarawak is Malaysia’s largest state, with an area about one-third of the size of Norway. Situated on the island of Borneo, it is also one of Southeast Asia’s largest producers of palm oil and fossil fuel.

The state aims to move away from its dependency on fossil fuels toward clean energy as it expects the recent “significant increase” in oil revenue, amid the rise of energy prices, to last only around another 25 years, Abang Johari said.

The premier said the state should put aside revenue from the increased earnings “for the benefit of future generations in the form of a sovereign fund.” –Bloomberg