Abang Johari leads delegation to study sovereign wealth fund in London

Abang Johari (third left) and the Sarawak delegation in a meeting with officials from IFSWF and PWC.

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KUCHING, July 29: A high-level Sarawak government delegation, led by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, was in London to learn the best practices and experience of the UK Sovereign Wealth Fund’s investment strategies, management, governance, as well as legal and policy framework as part of the benchmarking process to setting up Sarawak’s very own sovereign wealth fund.

According to a statement today, the Sarawak delegation visited and met with officials from the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) at the PWC headquarters in London on Thursday (June 28).

In a short address, Abang Johari informed about Sarawak’s intention to set up its own sovereign wealth fund, given that the financial position of the State is quite strong now.

“We want to generate revenue from future surplus funds for the benefit of our future generations.

“We hope in this meeting, IFSWF officials would be able to share their experiences and expert knowledge on the operation and governance of such state-owned investment funds,” he said.

According to its website, IFSWF, formed in 2008, is a voluntary organisation of global sovereign wealth funds worldwide committed to working together and strengthening the community through dialogue, research, and self-assessment.

Abang Johari (third right) leads a Sarawak delegation in a meeting with officials from UKGI.

The Sarawak delegation consisted of Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, State Secretary Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, State Attorney-General Dato Sri Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid, State Financial Secretary Dato Sri Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar, and Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel.

Later, the Premier and his delegation met fund managers of the UK Government Investment Ltd (UKGI), a company wholly owned by HM Treasury, to understand, among others, policy structures intervention and expert advice on the development of sovereign wealth funds.

The Premier had previously said that an ordinance would be tabled at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) in November to provide the legal framework for forming the fund.

He had travelled to Norway and Singapore to make similar studies of the models used in these countries. — DayakDaily