Downstream Nickel Brings Big Profits for Indonesia

nickel production

Indonesia gets a huge added value from downstream nickel exports. This was conveyed directly by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

President Jokowi stated that due to the banning of nickel exports and carrying out downstream operations in the country, the value of nickel exports experienced a significant jump.

From 2017 – 2018, the export value was only US$ 1.1 billion, or around Rp. 19-20 trillion, it skyrocketed in 2021 to reach US$ 20.8 billion or Rp. 326 trillion (exchange rate of Rp. 15,700 per US$.

“We calculate the added value 18 times,” said President Jokowi.

President Jokowi reiterated that the downstream policy and ban on nickel exports are the government’s efforts to seek added value domestically.

However, because of this nickel downstream policy, Indonesia was sued at the WTO by the European Union. Indonesia also lost the lawsuit.

“Once again, raw material exports, even though we lost at the WTO, the nickel issue was sued by the European Union. We lost. It’s okay for us to submit an appeal to the Minister,” said President Jokowi at the Investment National Coordination Meeting (Rakornas) for 2022, Wednesday (30/30/2019). 11/2022)

The results of the WTO panel decision recorded in the DS 592 dispute came out on October 17, 2022. The contents: Decide that the export policy and the obligation to process and refine nickel minerals in Indonesia are proven to violate WTO provisions Article XI.1 GATT 1994 and cannot be justified by Article XI .2(a) and XX(d) GATT 1994.

The final panel report also contains a panel rejecting the defense submitted by the Government of Indonesia regarding the limited number of National Nickel Reserves and implementing Good Mining Practices (Environmental Aspects) as the basis for the defense.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, said that the panel’s decision did not yet have permanent legal force. Thus, Indonesia does not need to change regulations or even revoke policies deemed inappropriate before the dispute decision is adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB).

“The panel’s decision does not yet have permanent legal force, so the government will appeal it,” said Arifin.

The final report will be distributed to other WTO members on 30 November 2022 and will be included in the DSB agenda on 20 December 2022.