"Do not drag us to the WTO (World Trade Organization) for our (policy) to stop exports of raw materials. We will fight for it, in any way," he remarked at the Kompas100 CEO Forum, observed from here on Thursday.
During the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy recently, many state leaders paid attention to Indonesia's stance against nickel ore exports, the President said.
He said he told the leaders that the nickel export ban is aimed at developing the country's nickel downstream industry, which could open more jobs for people.
However, Widodo said he would welcome countries who want to invest or establish smelter facilities in Indonesia.
"We are open to that. But we do not want to continue sending raw materials. No, stop," he remarked.
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The government has banned exports of nickel raw materials, he noted. In the future, it will also ban exports of bauxite and copper raw materials, he said.
Indonesia is currently building a copper refining and processing (smelter) installation in Gresik, East Java, Widodo noted.
"Next year (we will ban) bauxite. If our smelter is ready, stop bauxite (exports), so we can open jobs. Then, stop copper. After our smelter in Gresik is finished, stop," he informed.
Lawsuits against the decision to ban raw material exports would not stop the country, he said.
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"Even though we were challenged by the European Union to the WTO, it's okay, go ahead. This is our nickel, taken from our land," Widodo added.
The ban on nickel ore exports took effect on January 2, 2020, based on the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation Number 11 of 2019 on mineral and coal mining, and requires nickel to be processed in Indonesian smelters before being sold overseas.
The EU has filed a lawsuit against Indonesia with the WTO over Indonesia’s nickel export ban, Widodo said.
The EU believes that the ban on nickel exports would ruin the bloc’s efforts to excel in the world’s stainless steel industry, as nickel ore is a vital ingredient for stainless steel production, he noted.
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