- Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has many natural deposits of tin, copper, nickel, cobalt and bauxite, some of which are key batteries for electric vehicles.
- Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the government has negotiated with Tesla electric car manufacturers as well as Ford and other car companies to establish manufacturing facilities, including the automotive industry, in Indonesia.
- Widodo, or Jokowi as he is known at home, said he suggested to Elon Musk that Tesla could build the foundation of everything in the country.
President Joko Widodo has denied that Indonesia has become a defense during the administration, saying the gates remain open for all players – including Tesla – who want to use the country’s vast natural resources, if they plant crops that can add to the local economy.
Widodo, or Jokowi’s hometown, said the government had negotiated with Tesla car manufacturers as well as Ford and other car companies to establish production facilities, including a car dealership in Indonesia.
The Indonesian president said he met with Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive and the richest man in the world, in May after US President Joe Biden hosted a summit of Southeast Asian leaders. Jokowi said he suggested that Tesla could support its entire national supply chain.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions, especially about how Tesla can build their industry from the top to the bottom of the river, finally to the smelter and then build the cathode and precursor industry, build EV batteries, build lithium batteries [and then ] the automotive industry… All in Indonesia, because that works very well.
He said Musk sent a team to Indonesia six weeks ago “to look for nickel power, to look at natural features, but a car-related team has not yet arrived.”
He said the team could visit “soon” to assess the strength. Jokowi, who also invited Musk to the G-20 summit, Indonesia participating this year in Bali, said there was “no decision yet” on Tesla’s plans to invest in Indonesia.
Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has many natural deposits of tin, copper, nickel, cobalt and bauxite, some of which are key batteries for electric vehicles.
Under Jokowi, Indonesia’s resource-rich ban on exports of essential commodities, including unprocessed nickel by 2020, coal by 2021 and edible oil in April. The final step was aimed at stabilizing home prices.
“No, I don’t think it’s a defense. But we want that extra amount to be in Indonesia … If we continue to export raw materials, those who get the extra value abroad, ”he said.
In an effort to boost its economy and use its natural resources for domestic production, Indonesia wants to move away from exports. It also seeks to become a global player in EV batteries and manufacturer of electric vehicles.
“We want to build an industrial ecosystem for lithium batteries,” said Jokowi, arguing that this would create jobs and tax revenue.