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Elon Musk, seen here at an event in New York in early May, is aggressively gearing up to build its electric vehicles “end to end” in resource-rich Indonesia.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

President Joko Widodo has denied that Indonesia has become protectionist during his tenure, saying the doors are open to all players – including Tesla – who want to use the country’s plentiful natural resources if they do so. Establishes plants that can add value to the local economy.

Widodo, or Jokowi, as he is popularly known at home, said the government is in talks with the electric car maker. Tesla With all Wade and other car companies to set up manufacturing facilities, including a vehicle factory in Indonesia.

The Indonesian president said he met Tesla’s chief executive officer and the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, in May, when US President Joe Biden hosted a summit for Southeast Asian leaders. Jokowi said he suggested Tesla could base its entire supply chain in the country.

“We discussed a lot, specifically how Tesla can build its industry from upstream to downstream, starting from the smelter to building an end-to-end cathode and precursor industry, manufacturing EV batteries, manufacturing lithium batteries. [and] Then the auto factory. Everything in Indonesia, because it is very efficient. That’s what I offered,” Widodo told CNBC in an exclusive interview on Friday in Serang City, Banten Province.

He said Musk had sent a team to Indonesia six weeks ago “to investigate the potential of nickel, to investigate environmental aspects, but the team related to the car has not arrived.”

he said A team may move to the “near future” to evaluate potential. Jokowi, who has also invited Musk to the G-20 summit which Indonesia is hosting in Bali this year, said there is “no decision yet” on Tesla’s plans to invest in Indonesia.

We want to create an industrial ecosystem for lithium batteries.

joko widodo

President, Indonesia

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, has abundant natural reserves of tin, copper, nickel, cobalt, and bauxite, some of which are major materials for ore. Electric vehicle battery.

Under Jokowi, resource-rich Indonesia has banned exports of key commodities including unprocessed nickel in 2020, coal in 2021 and edible oil in April. The last measure was aimed at stabilizing domestic prices.

“No, I think it’s not protectionism. But we want this added value to happen in Indonesia… If we export raw materials, there are other countries getting added value,” he said.

To boost its economy and use its natural resources for domestic manufacturing, Indonesia wants to move away from raw material exports. It also wants to be a global player Manufacturer of EV batteries and electric cars.

“We want to build an industrial ecosystem for lithium batteries,” Jokowi said, arguing that it would also create jobs and generate tax revenue.

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