Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan and the US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez agreed to cooperate in addressing deforestation.

At a bilateral meeting with Fernandez on the sidelines of the 2023 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in San Francisco on Thursday, Hasan proposed cooperation on developing batteries for the electric vehicle ecosystem.

He said that Indonesia only has nickel resources as raw materials for electric vehicle batteries, and they would be better if combined with other materials, such as lithium.

"Indonesia does not have lithium, so it will be better when combined with nickel," he noted in his statement.

Related to the cooperation, Fernandez highlighted the issue of deforestation related to nickel mining. He said the United States will work on environmental standards with the public and according to state rules to address the issue of deforestation.

Hasan agreed to follow up on all agreements with the US made during the forum. Meanwhile, at the APEC forum, Indonesia and the US also agreed to upgrade their relations from a strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Indonesia also requested US support on its membership bid in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Furthermore, Indonesia called on the US to support its sustainable energy transition and the inclusion of critical minerals into the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) as well as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

The United States has established the Mineral Security Partnership with 13 countries and the European Union. The partnership is supporting four projects around the world.

Hence, Fernandez proposed to provide technical environmental assistance and investment promotion to Indonesia.

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Translator: Maria C, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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