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Jokowi wants Elon Musk to invest more in Indonesia

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2024

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has asked Elon Musk to expand his investment in Indonesia after the tech tycoon launched his Starlink satellite internet service for the nation's health sector over the weekend.

Jokowi met Musk on Monday on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum in Bali, where the billionaire spoke on the importance of water management as a speaker in the event.

In the meeting, Jokowi suggested that Musk invest more in Indonesia through the billionaire's aerospace firm SpaceX, carmaker Tesla and tunnel construction company The Boring Company.

"Mr. Musk, Indonesia is currently undergoing a nationwide digital transformation. It will open a lot of investment opportunities in infrastructure, technology, the digital economy and digital government," Jokowi said, as quoted from a press release from the Presidential Secretariat.

Jokowi also said that he hoped that Starlink, a wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceX, could work with local internet providers to offer fast and affordable internet services across the sprawling archipelago.

The President also asked Starlink to prioritize customer protection and to provide lower fees for public services, including for community health centers (Puskesmas) and schools in remote areas.

Musk said in the meeting that he was honored to participate in the World Water Forum saying that he hoped the recently launched Starlink could provide internet connectivity to support Indonesia's healthcare and education sectors, according to the press release from Jokowi's office.

But it remains unclear whether or not Musk responded to Jokowi's requests.

Previously, when asked by journalists during the launch of Starlink in Bali on Sunday about whether he planned to also invest in Indonesia's electric vehicle (EV) industry, Musk said he was focused on Starlink first.

"We are focusing this event on Starlink and the benefits that connectivity brings to remote islands," he said, as quoted from Reuters, emphasizing "the importance of internet connectivity, how much of that can be a lifesaver."

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said that he had made an offer to Musk for SpaceX to launch its rockets from Biak, Papua, where the government plans to build the country's first space station. According to Luhut, his offer was made on Sunday, shortly after he welcomed Musk at the airport when he landed in Bali.

The government has been trying for years to lure Tesla to build manufacturing plants related to EVs as the government wants to develop its EV sector using the country's rich nickel resources. (nal)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/05/21/jokowi-wants-elon-musk-to-invest-more-in-indonesia.htm