Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) Muhaimin Iskandar has voiced support for President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) decision to ban bauxite exports as of June 10, 2023.

Iskandar expressed belief that the export ban constitutes the government's strategy that aims for downstreaming optimization efforts focused on the country's mineral industry.

"Yes, I think this (bauxite export ban) is a good decision. It is clear that Mr Jokowi's administration is striving to realize (development of downstream industries), and the bauxite export ban can be seen as a concrete effort," Iskandar noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The legislator also pushed the government to immediately find a solution to address the slow construction process of mineral processing and refining facilities, or smelters.

"I hope that the government would sit together with business actors to specifically discuss the smelters issue in order to figure out the problem, whether they need relaxed funding or any other thing, for instance. This must be discussed," Iskandar remarked.

However, he acknowledged that a huge budget was needed for the smelter construction.

Iskandar then addressed business actors and called on them to make a joint commitment to realizing industrial downstreaming in Indonesia. Downstreaming is the key to advance the national economy, he stated.

"Once everyone is already in 'one frame', I believe that Indonesia will progress more quickly, added to the fact that the downstream (sector) is the prime driver of the national economy," he pointed out.

Earlier, President Jokowi stated that Indonesia had been exporting raw materials, including bauxite, for hundreds of years.

The president remarked that such exports offer greater benefits to other countries rather than to Indonesia, as these nations possess the capability of processing raw materials and creating job vacancies for their people.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is still too dependent on the exports of raw materials that generate very low additional value.

Hence, for the sake of the country's gain, the government will gradually ban the exports of raw minerals, starting from prohibiting the exports of nickel and bauxite. Later, the government is expected to broaden the extent of its export ban to cover copper and tin.

Related news: Minister emphasizes importance of developing mineral commodities
Related news: Hope to end petrochemical product imports from 2027: Minister
Related news: Govt readies anticipative policies to drive economic growth in 2023

Translator: Putu Indah, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2023