Indonesian President Joko Widodo says the Southeast Asian country wants a “huge ecosystem of electric cars.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged Tesla to manufacture its cars and batteries in the country, in comments to Bloomberg News on Thursday.
Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said in an interview that Indonesia wants a “huge ecosystem of electric cars” rather than simply using its natural resources to make batteries.
He also said Indonesia is considering levying a tax on nickel exports this year to boost revenues. Officials have previously said it could come as early as the third quarter of the year.
The president and senior government officials met with Tesla founder Elon Musk earlier this year, in which they said they had asked him to consider the Southeast Asian country a car manufacturing center, in addition to making batteries.
Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Indonesia’s Ministry of Investment has not responded to questions about the progress of the potential deal with Tesla.
Luhut Pandjaitan, a senior Indonesian minister who oversees talks with Tesla, told media earlier this month that the US company has signed deals worth about $5 billion to buy nickel products from nickel processing companies operating out of Indonesia’s Morowali. on the island of Sulawesi. The nickel materials will be used in Tesla’s lithium batteries.
Luhut added that his ministry was still negotiating with Tesla, but Musk was “busy on internal affairs, regarding Twitter”.
Social media company Twitter and Musk are currently suing each other over Musk’s bid to relinquish his deal to acquire Twitter for $44 billion.
At their meeting in May, Jokowi invited Musk to visit Indonesia in November, where the country will host a leadership summit for the Group of 20 Leading Economies.
Companies that have invested or announced their planned investment in electric car production in Indonesia include Japanese companies Toyota Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group.
SGMW Motor Indonesia, part of a joint venture of SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, General Motors Co and Wuling Motors, has an EV assembly plant in the resource-rich country.