Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Some European companies within the automotive sector have shown interest in investing in Indonesia after the Southeast Asian nation became a partner country to the 2021 Hannover Messe industrial technology fair, according to the Investment Ministry.
Nurul Ichwan, the ministry's deputy for investment promotion, refused to disclose the names of the said companies, although he hinted that the investment could be related to Indonesia's dream of building an electric vehicle (EV) industry.
Nurul said that the interested investors at the 2021 Hannover Messe, which had to take place virtually due to Covid-19, were waiting for the pandemic to subside before engaging in further discussions.
"After the pandemic subsides, many European companies are now interested in Indonesia because of our robust economic growth, which always tops 5 percent, as well as our abundant natural resources. Not to mention our downstream policy," Nurul said during a talk show on Monday.
According to Nurul, there are more than three European companies that have approached Indonesia for possible cooperation.
"These companies are mostly coming from the automotive sector. Going forward, technology will spur the development of EVs. When we talk of EVs, Indonesia has one of the world's largest nickel potentials. That means the world cannot move forward without Indonesia," Nurul said.
He added, "at Hannover Messe, we would like to show that we can become part of the EV global supply chain. We want to be a hub for the EV battery industry."
Indonesia has the world's largest nickel reserves which total 21 million metric tons, according to the US Geological Survey. In 2022, Indonesia's nickel production reached 1.6 million metric tons. Nickel is a mainstay for batteries.
Indonesia is currently developing its downstream industry, in which it focuses on processing its unprocessed ores for higher added value. The country has banned the export of unprocessed nickel ores and is now exporting iron and steel. Government data showed nickel downstream exports stood at $33.8 billion in 2022, of which $14.3 billion were iron and steel exports.