Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo reassured officials from ministries and institutions regarding the government’s policy to end bauxite exports from June 2023, and asked them not to hesitate or be overly concerned about implementing it.

"Don't hesitate, I tell the ministers. Don't worry about this policy. We have to be confident," the head of state said at the Merdeka Palace here on Wednesday.

Based on the experience of stopping nickel exports, there would be a decline in exports at the beginning of the year when the ban on bauxite ore exports takes place, he added.

But there will be a very significant jump in the second, third, and fourth years afterward.

"Our experience with nickel is like that," Widodo said.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said that the ban on exports will cover all forms of raw bauxite, including washed ones.

“(There will be) A complete ban on raw bauxite, including those that are washed. All along, bauxite could be washed and then exported, now, not even the washed ones will be allowed (to be exported); it will have to be processed in Indonesia and that starts in June 2023," Hartarto informed.

Bauxite ore would be processed first into alumina, then aluminum or aluminum ingots, and thereafter, into bars, and it would be supplied to machinery and construction industries, he said.

Indonesia faced a lawsuit from the World Trade Organization (WTO) after it decided to stop exports of nickel earlier. Asked about the risk of similar lawsuits arising from the policy of ending bauxite ore exports, Hartarto said that the matter does not need to be discussed yet because the policy has just been announced.

"On the topic of the (potential) WTO lawsuit, because this has just been announced, there has been no lawsuit, we don't need to discuss it first. We will see what is going on in the world," he said.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu A J, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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