Indonesia may stop tin exports in 2024 as part of efforts to attract investment into the resource processing industry and improve the country’s external balance, President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday.
Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, also reiterated the government may stop allowing exports of bauxite next year and copper ore in 2023.
The president has been making similar remarks during his recent public appearances, arguing that Southeast Asia’s largest economy has for too long sold raw commodities, which deprives the country of bigger export earnings and jobs in the manufacturing industry.
Efforts to stop exports of raw commodities and attract investment in downstream industries will improve Indonesia’s trade and current account balances, he said, using the example of banning nickel ore exports to attract investment in manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries.
“We have started with nickel. Maybe next year, we are calculating, we may stop exports of bauxite. The next year we may be able to stop copper, and the next year tin,” Jokowi told the central bank’s annual gathering with financial stakeholders.
Indonesia, a major exporter of metal ores, stopped exports of nickel ore last year. The move has triggered an influx of investment, mostly from China, into nickel processing.
Under current rules, Indonesia is set to stop exporting bauxite and copper ore, among other metal ores, in 2023.
It was unclear what Jokowi’s plans are for tin exports. Since 2018, Indonesia has required tin to be sold in its refined form with at least 95% content.
“We want these resources to be exported as semi-finished goods or as finished goods, because what we want is the added value” said Jokowi.
The ban on nickel ore exports has led to the European Union lodging a complaint at the World Trade Organization, but the president said such dispute was “not a problem” and that Indonesia would continue to welcome foreign investment.
(By Gayatri Suroyo and Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coghill)