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Indonesian Jokowi meets Tesla’s Musk after nickel talks

JAKARTA (May 15): Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Saturday in Texas to discuss potential investments and technology, the Indonesian government said in a statement.

The meeting between Musk and Widodo, better known as Jokowi, came after a series of working discussions over potential investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry and the supply of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), told Reuters. Reuters of Indonesian officials.

Tesla representatives were in Indonesia for meetings regarding a potential battery-related investment, said Indonesian officials and two people familiar with the talks.

Tesla had no immediate comment.

Indonesia has been trying for years to strike a deal with Tesla over battery investment and potentially Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX.

Jokowi traveled from Washington, where he attended a meeting of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to meet Musk at the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. He invited the billionaire to visit Indonesia in November.

Jokowi is due to host a Group of 20 major economies summit in Bali in November. “Hopefully in November,” the Indonesian government quoted Musk as saying.

Musk said there could be room for “partnerships in many areas because Indonesia has a lot of potential,” according to the statement.

Indonesia has the largest nickel reserves in the world, and Jokowi wants to develop a nickel-based electric vehicle industry in his country – from nickel metal manufacturing to battery component production and vehicle assembly. electrical. In the past, he has also urged Musk to consider a rocket launch site in Indonesia.

Two deals in the past month have given new impetus to Jokowi’s efforts to develop an electric vehicle-related industry at a time when global automakers have been scrambling to secure their supplies of battery materials and reduce their dependence on electricity. regard to China.

A consortium led by South Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd, the world’s second-largest electric vehicle battery maker, last month announced plans to invest US$9 billion in Indonesia in a deal that would include everything from refining nickel to producing 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.