I will soon announce the decision to stop copper export this year
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that he would shortly announce a policy to halt the exports of raw copper following similar steps already taken for nickel and followed by bauxite in June 2023.

"I already informed in December that bauxite export would be stopped in June 2023. I will soon announce the decision to stop copper export this year," he noted as a keynote speaker at the 2023 Mandiri Investment Forum in Jakarta, Wednesday.

He explained that the decision to stop copper exports was based on the results of his review of the progress in the construction of a smelter owned by PT Freeport Indonesia in Gresik, East Java, as well as other similar facilities also being built in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

"The progress in smelter construction in Gresik and NTB had reached more than 50 percent. Therefore, we are ready to stop copper export," he remarked.

The president also reminded that Indonesia is now the majority owner of PT Freeport Indonesia's shares.

"Do not think that Freeport still belongs to the United States. We already have the majority shares," he emphasized.

Jokowi had earlier imposed a nickel ore export ban in January 2020 and spoke at length on the myriad benefits of this policy.

According to the head of state, downstreaming has created a significant jump in value from the Indonesian nickel mining industry, from earlier only around US$1.1 billion to around US$30-33 billion in 2022.

"Imagine the value increased from Rp17 trillion to Rp405 trillion. What an enormous added value," he disclosed.

This policy was then sued by the European Union at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indonesia was declared to have lost the case.

However, Jokowi emphasized that the defeat was not the end, as Indonesia could still submit an appeal. On the other hand, the initial policy of banning exports has been accompanied by the ongoing development of downstream industries.

"If we lose after the appeal, we must keep going because the downstreaming industry and the ecosystem have been made. Do not give up on this," he stated.

The president also entrusted the banking world to play an active role in overseeing the mining downstream policy, one of which is by providing convenience for credit application intended for smelter construction.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir also accompanied the president at the event.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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