We are forced to export (against our will) despite the commodity being clearly ours
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) accentuated that Indonesia has now been compelled to export its natural commodities against its will following the defeat at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body ruled in favor of the European Union (EU) that challenged Indonesia's ban on the export of nickel ore in October 2022.

"During the VOC period, the colonial period, there was forced labor and forced planting. Yet, in these modern times, the new form of forced export appears," the president stated during the Kompas100 CEO Forum from the State Palace here, Friday.

The president questioned parties disputing Indonesia's right to process natural resources according to will.

"We are forced to export (against our will) despite the commodity being clearly ours," he emphasized.

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The president explained that the ban on nickel ore export since 2020 aims to encourage the downstreaming process to create derivative products for electric vehicle batteries in Indonesia.

Apart from developing the electric vehicle production ecosystem in Indonesia, the downstreaming process prior to export will create new jobs for the people and increase the value of export commodities, he remarked.

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"We are ready to develop the great ecosystem because our nickel reserves are the largest in the world, while tin is on second, bauxite on sixth, and copper on seventh -- we have it all. To develop the battery-based electric vehicle ecosystem, we are lacking only lithium," Jokowi remarked.

He affirmed that Indonesia will appeal against the WTO decision since it is not legally binding yet in a bid to bolster the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem in Indonesia

"(If we fail to take action), the great ecosystem, which we aspire, will not become a reality," the president stressed.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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