Triyan Pangastuti, Jakarta – The Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia is optimistic that Tesla will realize an investment in Indonesia after the company's chief executive officer Elon Musk's met with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo last week.
Bahlil said a team from Indonesia and Musk's team were working on the deal with the hope of arriving at a concrete investment plan by the end of this year.
"We discuss how much the investment is worth and when to start. Just wait for the right time, and we will announce [the deal]," Bahlil said on Tuesday.
"The team is negotiating, but rest assured the President has a special move to woo Elon Musk. I personally have faith [in it]. God willing, Elon Musk's [investment] will come to our country," Bahlil said.
Jokowi met with Elon Musk during a visit to SpaceX's Starbase, a rocket production facility, test site, and spaceport, in Boca Chica, Texas on May 14, discussing many things regarding investment, technology, and innovation.
After the meeting, Jokowi immediately ordered the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan to follow up on the discussion in the meeting, Bahlil said.
Musk has agreed to have intensive communication with the Indonesian team, and he expected to reach an agreement soon, Bahlil said.
"It hasn't been signed yet, but it's not only about the EV battery, but also about the electric car," he said.
Bahlil said that Indonesia had been building a complete ecosystem for electric car battery manufacturing, starting from smelters, cathode precursors, cell batteries, and electric cars.
He said that the country had several critical raw materials for making batteries like nickel and manganese. With a proven reserve of more than 21 million tons, Indonesia is the world's largest nickel supplier today.
Bahlil said that Indonesia strived to develop the world's largest electric vehicle (EV) battery ecosystem. South Korea's LG Electronics (LG) and China's Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) have invested in battery ecosystem projects worth $22 billion.
He said German companies Volkswagen and BASF have also expressed their intent to invest in Indonesia's electric vehicle (EV) battery industry.
"So, there is no longer any notion that EV batteries are controlled by one particular country. It concerns the car battery," he said.