Jokowi’s electric dreams: Making Indonesia a global EV hub

What’s driving Jakarta’s recent move to ban exports of bauxite ore is not just resource nationalism, but an ambitious plan to develop a major electric vehicle ecosystem

Indonesian President Joko Widodo is keeping his eye on the prize through ambitious moves to secure Indonesia’s place in an industry with a promising future. PHOTO: AFP
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Late in December, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo announced an export ban on bauxite, effective in June this year. The announcement is significant on a number of counts, not least because it followed a World Trade Organisation (WT0) ruling a month earlier against an Indonesian export ban on another metal, nickel.

The news on bauxite speaks of not just Indonesia’s ambitions for its metals processing sector, but also the President’s dreams of Indonesia as a global electric vehicle hub. Bauxite is a primary alloy in the manufacture of aluminium, a key component in EV technology.

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