I have told the minister, appeal.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) vowed that Indonesia will appeal the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on a trade dispute with the European Union (EU) over the ban on the export of nickel ore.

"I have told the minister, appeal," Jokowi stated at the coordination meeting on national investment here, Wednesday.

The head of state stressed that Indonesia will not stop the downstreaming policy of nickel and other natural resources.

In fact, after the ban on nickel ore exports since 2020, the government will ban the export of bauxite raw materials.

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"After that, other materials, including coffee, try not to export them in the form of raw materials," Jokowi emphasized.

The president noted that the exports of raw materials had run for decades while adding that it had not provided maximum benefits for Indonesia.

Jokowi remarked that Indonesia has abundant natural wealth, in the form of mining, agriculture, and plantation, that should be utilized optimally to increase the people's prosperity.

Hence, Indonesia will continue to implement the downstreaming policy. The head of state has also instructed his staff to continue to look for investors to support funding for the downstreaming program.

Jokowi drew attention to the state revenue from the exports of nickel products, recorded at Rp20 trillion, before the nickel ore export ban was imposed.

However, when the ban on nickel ore export took effect, Indonesia could enjoy the export value of nickel products of up to Rp300 trillion.

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Exports of downstream nickel products have also improved Indonesia's trade balance that had always been in deficit.

In the last 29 months, Indonesia's trade balance has always been in surplus, with nickel exports being the contributor.

"I checked why the European Union sued (Indonesia over the export ban)? Right, because there are lots of industries there. If it is done here, then there will be a lot of unemployment. There are factories that will be closed. There will be industries that will be closed," Jokowi stated.

The head of state emphasized that Indonesia is also keen to become a developed country by optimally utilizing natural wealth for the welfare of the people.

"We also want to develop, our country wants to be a developed country. We want to create jobs. If we are afraid of being sued and prefer to retreat, well, we will not become a developed country," Jokowi remarked.

Indonesia was the world's biggest exporter of nickel before it banned ore exports in favor of attracting foreign investors to develop nickel smelters and downstream industries.

The EU filed a lawsuit to the WTO against Indonesia's policy of banning nickel ore exports, starting in early 2020.

However, the WTO's dispute settlement body (DSB) announced that Indonesia had violated the regulations.

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Translator: Indra A Pribadi, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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