Jakarta (ANTARA) - The natural resource downstreaming program is currently being promoted by the government to bring added value to regional economic growth, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia has said.

"Our downstreaming program is a tool to bring added value to the region," he stated during a public lecture at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The Investment Ministry has issued Regulation of the Investment Minister Number 1 of 2022, which encourages collaboration between large investors and national entrepreneurs in regions.

The regulation was made to encourage investment in the regions to ensure economic equity, Lahadalia added.

He also said that his party is pushing for investment outside Java Island to realize the vision of an Indonesia-centric development that is not only centered on the island of Java.

According to Lahadalia, since the third quarter of 2020, investment realization outside Java Island has been higher than within Java Island.

Starting at 50.5 percent, it continued to grow and reached 53 percent by the second quarter of 2023, he added.

"From the third quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2023, investment outside Java Island has been higher than Java with 53 percent. We want to bring economic equity and growth from the west to the east," he said.

One example of a downstream industrial area that has contributed to regional economic growth has been the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) in Central Halmahera, North Maluku, which is focused on nickel ore refining and processing facilities, the minister added.

Data from the ministry has shown that North Maluku recorded 10 percent economic growth in the period from 2018 to 2020.

After the downstreaming industry started to operate in 2021, North Maluku's economic growth increased to 16.79 percent and crossed 20 percent in 2022 (22.94 percent).

It was recorded at 20.26 percent in the first half of 2023.

The IWIP industrial area also absorbs workers from surrounding communities.

"North Maluku's economic growth has reached more than 20 percent. Residents who live near the facility already got jobs from the industry," he informed.

Lahadalia said that the nickel downstream program is very important because the commodity is needed in the automotive industry, which is starting to move toward utilizing green energy by manufacturing electric cars.

He explained that nickel is one of the important raw materials in the electric car industry as a component in electric batteries.

Indonesia holds 25 percent of the world's total nickel reserves.

"The electric car's components are 40 percent the battery and 60 percent the body. Meanwhile, the cell battery components are nickel, cobalt, manganese, and lithium. Indonesia has nickel reserves of 25 percent of the world," he disclosed.

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Translator: Farhan Arda N, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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