Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said Thursday that the lawsuit launched by the European Union, or EU, would not stop Indonesia from banning ore exports.
The EU filed a complaint against Indonesia at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the Southeast Asian country's restriction on nickel ore export. Indonesia, however, remains unbothered by the EU's disapproval and even plans to ban other ores aside from nickel.
"We got sued by the EU once we stopped nickel ore export. The [lawsuit] is still ongoing, but no problem. I have already instructed [my officials] that we will stop exporting bauxite this year. So we will get another lawsuit," Jokowi said at the Open Session of the Academic Senate at Sebelas Maret University (UNS) in Surakarta, Central Java, on Friday.
"And then [we will ban] copper or tin ore [exports], so we will get sued again. It doesn't matter if they keep on suing us," he added.
According to Jokowi, banning ore exports was the right thing to do, as it would generate added value for Indonesia. It will also significantly attract investments into the country and create jobs. The ore export ban will enable Indonesia to gain additional revenues from income tax, value-added tax, non-tax revenue, and export duties.
Stopping raw material exports would enable products such as lithium batteries, battery electric vehicles, semiconductors, among others, to be produced in Indonesia, Jokowi said.
"Seven years ago, our raw material nickel export reached $1-1.5 billion. Because we stopped exporting, there came industrial downstream, industrialization. In 2021, our nickel export rose to $20.8 billion because [we have turned them] to semi-finished or finished products," he said.
"That is just one commodity. We still have copper, tin ores, plantation, and agricultural commodities. If we have the courage to stop [exporting them] one by one, we will be able to see those great numbers. It will create jobs, which is of paramount importance. The Finance Minister can collect the taxes," the president added.
According to Jokowi, Indonesia told the G20 summit in Italy that it was indeed open if other countries wanted to set up the production right here in Indonesia.
"You can form a partnership with our state-owned or private enterprises. Or if you want to set up the industry by yourself, no worries, as long as it is in Indonesia," Jokowi told the conference.
The raw ores that Indonesia exports can create an added value of 14-20-fold to the destination countries. The taxes and the job creation opportunities also go to these countries, according to Jokowi.
"And what do we get? They always try to scare us that they would file a WTO lawsuit. Just sue," Jokowi said.