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President Joko Widodo meets Elon Musk amid speculation Tesla may choose Indonesia as manufacturing base

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The Indonesian government said in a statement that President Joko Widodo met with Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk in Texas on Saturday.

Widodo and Musk discussed potential investments and technology amid speculation that Tesla could choose Indonesia for a manufacturing base in Asia.

Indonesian officials told Reuters that Musk had held a series of working discussions over potential investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry and the supply of batteries for electric vehicles.

Two people familiar with the talks told Bloomberg that Tesla representatives were in Indonesia last week for meetings regarding a potential battery-related investment.

Highlighting Indonesia’s potential, Musk said “there could be room for partnerships in many areas.”

Previously, Musk was in talks with India to establish a manufacturing base in the country, but Minister of Roads, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told him that Tesla should produce the whole car in India instead of having it manufactured. parts in China.

But experts believed Musk might want to cut ties with China, which is Tesla’s biggest market, until India lifts the duties.

Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of the Serum Institute of India, said if Musk invested capital in making cars in India, it would be his “best investment”.

Indonesia, which has the world’s largest nickel reserves and wants to develop a nickel-based electric vehicle industry at home, has been trying for years to strike a deal with Tesla on battery investment and potentially for the Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company.

(With agency contributions)

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