President Jokowi Believes Indonesia Will Become a Giant in the Electric Vehicle Industry by 2028

Foreign Media Highlights Jokowi's Promotion of IKN to Singaporean Investors (8/6) (photo: Edgar Su - REUTERS)

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed his strong belief that Indonesia will establish a robust electric vehicle industry by the year 2028. This vision is underpinned by the country’s abundant reserves of mineral resources, which provide a solid foundation for the development of this sector.

Given this favorable outlook, President Jokowi is urging Indonesia not to be intimidated by potential legal challenges from other nations regarding the ban on exporting raw materials abroad. He emphasizes that yielding to such pressures would jeopardize the realization of the electric vehicle industry’s potential in Indonesia.

Imagining the future, President Jokowi envisions a thriving electric vehicle industry, which would be just the beginning of potential legal challenges. In order to actualize this vision, Indonesia is making preparations for precursor industries, export-oriented initiatives, the production of electric vehicles themselves, as well as the development of lithium batteries.

It is anticipated that these preparations will be completed by 2027, and the industry will flourish by 2028, God willing. President Jokowi shared these aspirations during an event organized by Bara JP volunteers, which took place at Hotel Salak in Bogor on Sunday, June 18, 2023.

However, President Jokowi acknowledges the need for diligent oversight of the progress in constructing local processing and refining facilities, known as smelters. He warns against falling into the trap of mere empty promises without any tangible progress being made.

Nevertheless, President Jokowi emphasizes the importance of closely monitoring these projects to avoid a recurrence of past failures in constructing smelters, as witnessed in the case of PT Freeport Indonesia. Despite Freeport’s commitment to building a smelter 30 years ago, the project remains unrealized. It is worth noting that these raw materials contain not only copper but also valuable gold, thus exacerbating the missed opportunity.

President Jokowi highlights the significance of completing the smelter construction project owned by PT Freeport Indonesia in Gresik, East Java. This would enable the determination of the volume of gold and copper production that could be achieved, providing valuable insights into the potential of Indonesia’s mining industry.

Reflecting on the past, Indonesia’s share in the production of gold and copper was merely 9% over the course of 50 years. However, with Indonesia now holding a majority stake of 51% in the industry, President Jokowi emphasizes the importance of assessing the revenue generated from this majority stake.

Surprisingly, 70% of Freeport’s revenue is directed to the state treasury, underscoring the significance of the mining industry to Indonesia’s economy.

President Jokowi asserts that Indonesia should not succumb to fear or hesitation in the face of legal challenges from other countries. This is particularly relevant in light of the European Union’s lawsuit against Indonesia at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the ban on nickel ore exports.

Although Indonesia faced a setback in this particular case, President Jokowi urges the country to continue its efforts in pursuing the appeals process.

Furthermore, President Jokowi assures that Indonesia remains resolute in its commitment to banning the export of bauxite as of June 11, 2023. This measure is in line with the government’s overarching strategy to maximize the utilization of Indonesia’s mineral resources within the country.