Indonesian President Joko Widodo talks with Founder and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk during their meeting at the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, U.S., May 14, 2022. Picture taken May 14, 2022. Courtesy of Laily Rachev/Indonesia's Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he discussed with Tesla CEO Elon Musk opportunities to grow his business, from mining to car manufacturing in the country. The manufacturer sent a team to Indonesia to study the potential of nickel and to check the environmental aspects. At the moment, there is no final decision or plan for the development of Tesla in the country.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the country remains open to all players, including Tesla, who want to exploit the country's abundant natural resources. However, to do this, companies will need to build manufacturing plants that contribute to the local economy. The President confirmed that he is in talks with Tesla to set up manufacturing facilities, including a car plant, in Indonesia.
Widodo said he met with Elon Musk in May. During the meeting, he suggested to the head of Tesla that the company can locate its business, including its entire supply chain and production in Indonesia, as it would be very efficient.
“We had a lot of discussions, particularly on how Tesla can build their industry from upstream to downstream, end-to-end starting from smelter then build the cathode and precursor industry, build EV batteries, build lithium batteries [and] then the vehicle factory. Everything in Indonesia, because that's very efficient. That’s what I offered,” Widodo told CNBC.
He confirmed previously known information that Musk sent his team to Indonesia six weeks ago. The purpose of the visit was to test the potential of nickel and its environmental aspects. However, the team that would test the possibility of creating cars in the country did not come. However, according to the President, representatives of the company on this issue may come in the “near future” to assess the potential. Widodo also confirmed that there is “no decision yet” regarding Tesla's plans to invest in Indonesia.
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