Luhut to Meet Tesla Boss Elon Musk Next Month


Jakarta, Indonesianpost.comChief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Monday said he would meet with Tesla’s boss Elon Musk to follow up on the US automaker’s investment in Indonesia.

Nickel-rich Indonesia has been wooing Tesla into investing in its electric vehicle (EV) industry for years. However, it appears to be falling behind its close neighbor Malaysia. Malaysia recently announced that Tesla would establish its headquarters in Selangor this year. Indonesia immediately set up a meeting with Musk shortly after the announcement.

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“I plan on meeting Elon Musk on Aug. 2. We would like to finalize [Tesla’s investment in Indonesia],” Luhut said in Jakarta on Monday.

The minister did not elaborate further on his upcoming talks with Musk. Luhut also claimed that Tesla had not made any investment in Malaysia. He told reporters: “There is none.”

Luhut in April 2022 flew to Texas to meet Musk for some potential investment talks. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also met with Musk during a visit to the latter’s aerospace company SpaceX just a month later.

According to Reuters, Luhut in August 2022 told Indonesian media that Tesla had signed a five-year contract worth $5 billion with nickel processing companies operating out of Morowali, Sulawesi. Tesla will use the purchased nickel for its lithium batteries.

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President Jokowi also told Bloomberg in August 2022 that Indonesia had been trying to convince Tesla to also build electric cars there, on top of making batteries.

News outlet Antara in March wrote that the government had been avoiding revealing details on Tesla’s investment because they had inked a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). However, Luhut at the time said that Indonesia’s negotiations with Tesla had seen major progress.

Indonesia’s nickel ore reserves stand at 21 million metric tons. This puts Indonesia and Australia as the countries with the world’s largest nickel reserves. Indonesia last year produced 1.6 million metric tons of nickel, the 2023 US Geological Survey data shows.

Source Jakarta Globe
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