JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk on Saturday (May 14) in Texas to discuss potential investments and technology, the Indonesian government said in a statement.
The meeting between Mr. Musk and Mr. Widodo came after a series of working discussions over potential investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry and the supply of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), Indonesian officials told Reuters.
Tesla representatives were in Indonesia last week for meetings regarding a potential battery-related investment, Indonesian officials and two sources familiar with the talks said.
Tesla had no immediate comment.
Indonesia has been trying for years to strike a deal with Tesla over battery investment and potentially for Mr Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX.
Jokowi traveled from Washington, where he attended an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ meeting, to meet Musk at the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. He invited the billionaire to visit Indonesia in November.
Mr Widodo is due to host a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Bali in November.
“Hopefully in November,” Indonesia’s government quoted Mr Musk as saying.
Mr. Musk said there could be room for “partnerships in many areas because Indonesia has a lot of potential,” the statement said.
Indonesia has the largest nickel reserves in the world and Mr. Widodo wants to develop a nickel-based electric vehicle industry at home – from nickel metal manufacturing to battery component production and vehicle assembly electrical. In the past, he has also urged Mr. Musk to consider a rocket launch site in Indonesia.
Two deals in the past month have given further impetus to Widodo’s efforts to develop an electric vehicle-related industry at a time when global automakers have been scrambling to secure supplies of battery materials and reduce reliance. with regard to China.
A consortium led by South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, the world’s second-largest electric vehicle battery maker, last month announced plans to invest US$9 billion (S$12.5 billion) in Indonesia in the part of a deal that would include everything from nickel refining to production. battery cells in Indonesia.
LG’s biggest rival, China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology, a Tesla supplier, announced a $9 billion investment in Indonesia in April.
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