Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Investment and head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia has said that Indonesia is projected to become the country with the largest electric vehicle (EV) battery industry in the world.

This is due to the downstreaming of natural resources, especially raw materials for EV batteries, and the government's efforts to attract foreign investors, he added.

"We want to make Indonesia one of the biggest EV battery producers in the world," he informed during a public lecture at Sebelas Maret University in Surakarta, Central Java, on Tuesday.

The minister explained that currently, the global automotive industry is leaning toward the use of electric vehicles, and batteries are important components in their production.

"In the future, fossil fuels will be abandoned. In 2030, almost all cars will be electric with most of their components are in the battery," he said.

Lahadalia further said that the main raw materials for EV batteries are nickel, cobalt, manganese, and lithium. Indonesia's nickel reserves account for 25 percent of the total global reserves.

From 2017 to 2018, revenue from nickel exports in the form of raw materials was recorded at just US$3.3 billion. This prompted President Joko Widodo to halt the export of raw materials and focus on the downstreaming industry.

After implementing the export ban and enforcing the development policy for the nickel downstream industry in 2022, income from the export of downstream nickel products grew almost 10 times compared to revenue earned from raw material exports, Lahadalia said.

"Once we stop exporting raw nickel, we started to build a smelter and the whole industry. Now, the result of our downstream product is worth US$30 billion," he disclosed.

For developing the domestic EV battery industry, Indonesia has brought several foreign energy and automotive companies, such as CATL, BASF, VW, LG, and Ford, to invest in Indonesia, he said.

He explained that the downstream program, which is currently being intensified, is expected to increase Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to US$11 thousand in the next 10 years.

"Ten years from now, we want our income per capita to reach US$10 thousand to US$11 thousand. One of the efforts is by bringing added value through downstreaming," he informed.

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Translator: Farhan Arda N, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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