Jakarta (ANTARA) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi discussed energy transition cooperation during a bilateral meeting with her Australian counterpart Penny Wong this week.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne on March 4–6, 2024.

"In a bilateral meeting with Minister Wong, we discussed various things, among others, cooperation on the energy transition, including the development of an EV (electric vehicle) battery ecosystem," Marsudi informed in a statement released by her office on Wednesday.

In addition, she emphasized the importance of both governments lifting non-tariff barriers in bilateral trade.

"In this case, I also conveyed the importance of cooperation in biosecurity, especially for fish and fruit products," she added.

Earlier, during a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called for the immediate implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in electric vehicle ecosystem development, which was signed by the two countries in November last year.

The MoU is considered important for strengthening cooperation in the critical minerals and electric vehicles supply chain.

"Regarding nickel, President Jokowi asked for collaboration between the two countries in dealing with the global market situation," Marsudi informed.

Indonesia and Australia are both known to have natural resources that can be synergized, particularly critical minerals used in electric vehicle batteries.

In the past five years, Indonesia has developed its nickel downstream industry to support the electric vehicle ecosystem.

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir said that the country has three factories producing mixed hydroxide precipitate, the basic material for battery precursors.

Several battery manufacturing projects are also slated to start in the next few years.

Meanwhile, Australia has 24 percent of the world's lithium reserves, second only to Chile.

The country accounted for 43 percent of global lithium extraction in 2022.

According to the statement released on Wednesday, Australia can benefit from its abundant lithium resources by collaborating with Indonesia — which has developed its nickel industry — to build a new axis for the electric vehicle battery ecosystem, as well as forming alliances.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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