Indonesia eyes repositioning for global competition amid pandemic

Indonesia eyes repositioning for global competition amid pandemic

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir. (ANTARA/HO-SOE Ministry/rst)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic have impelled Indonesia to reposition itself and rise amid the global competition, according to State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir.

"It is the right time for Indonesia amid the pandemic to reposition itself and rise amid the global competition," Thohir noted in an official statement received here, Saturday.

One of these opportunities is the development of the battery industry for electric vehicles, especially since Indonesia is the largest nickel producer.

In connection with the electric battery industry, Minister Thohir had earlier held discussions with the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, finance minister, and minister of investment/head of BPKM.

The meeting discussed development of the electric battery ecosystem for electric vehicles, including mines, smelters, batteries, electric cars and motorcycles, and battery recycling, to fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, such as parking lots for electric vehicles.

Minister Thohir remarked that Indonesia must capitalize on the opportunity for transitioning to keep up with the electric vehicle trend, which is estimated to only last from 2023 to 2026, before the demand for electric vehicles peaks in 2030.

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"President Joko Widodo has said for a long time that our oil era is over, our timber era is over, and for this one (electric vehicle batteries), we do not want to miss it again," Thohir stated.

Minister of Investment/Head of the Coordinating Board of Investment (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia had earlier noted that now was the best momentum for Indonesia to build an integrated electric vehicle battery industry.

The reason is since the world is preparing to welcome the era of environment-friendly and emission-free vehicles. On the other hand, mineral raw materials for electric vehicle batteries in the country are still abundant and must be utilized optimally.

Lahadalia explained that the development of the integrated electric vehicle battery industry also aligned with President Jokowi's goal of continuing to encourage economic transformation by downstreaming in addition to continuing to shift the economic contribution, from consumption to investment, in order to create quality jobs.

Indonesia had gone through several golden periods of natural resources but failed to utilize them optimally. Now, with nickel, the government is keen to not see a recurrence of a similar incident, Lahadalia concluded.

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