Tesla Indonesia Talks Continue as Country Sends High-Level Team to Meet with Tesla Executives, per President Widodo

by Eva Fox November 13, 2020

Tesla Indonesia Talks Continue as Country Sends High-Level Team to Meet with Tesla Executives, per President Widodo

Feature image: Bloomberg

In a bid to become the world's largest manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles, Indonesia plans to enter into negotiations with Tesla. Next week, the country will send a high-level team to meet with senior Tesla executives, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Reuters.

The team led by Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan intends to meet with Tesla executives. Тhe trip will be part of Indonesia’s promotion of its new, so-called “Omnibus” Job Creation law, which simplifies doing business in the country.

“Next week we will send a large team to America and Japan, to promote the Omnibus,” President said.

“It’s very important because we have a great plan to make Indonesia the biggest producer of lithium batteries and we have the biggest nickel (reserves),” said Widodo.

Indonesia's new job creation law has been met with criticism for easing environmental standards. Luhut said Indonesia could make its battery supply chain green in seven to eight years by adding renewable energy to some smelters. Thus, they will be able to sell environmentally friendly car batteries in the European market by 2030.

In early October, the Indonesian government had already started informal preliminary negotiations with Tesla on potential investments in the nickel-rich country. The CEO of the company Elon Musk has promised a giant contract with nickel producers who are mining it “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way.”

In mid-October, it became known that Tesla could build a battery factory in Indonesia. "Tesla would later be directed to build a factory in Batang. Currently, the discussion process between Tesla and the government is still ongoing," said Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang.

Indonesia aims to develop a complete home nickel supply chain. The country is focusing on extracting chemicals from batteries, making batteries, and ultimately making electric vehicles. This is why Indonesia has stopped exporting unprocessed nickel ore, as it now looks for investment to build up this key, domestic industry.

© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.

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