JAKARTADAILY.ID - Investment Minister/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board Bahlil Lahadalia said Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla would stand to lose a lot if it did not invest in Indonesia.
Bahlil assessed that Tesla's indecision to invest in Indonesia was part of the communication strategy in building negotiations.
"In the business world, before the endpoint is reached, the negotiations are practically unfinished. As a former entrepreneur, going back and forth is part of the communication strategy in building negotiations," Bahlil said in an online conference on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, as quoted by Antara.
Bahlil assessed that in the beginning, Tesla might regard that the offer from Indonesia was not yet prospective for its business.
"Well, maybe now Tesla is considering the [investment's] FS (feasibility study). If we were to seek to build a car battery ecosystem, investors would stand to lose if they didn't want to invest in Indonesia," he said.
Bahlil revealed that there are two reasons related to Indonesia's superiority as a supplier of raw materials for electric car batteries.
First, he said, Indonesia has up to 25 percent of the world's nickel reserves. Second is the abundance of supply of other raw material minerals for batteries in the country.
"We have manganese. There are four components of electric car batteries, manganese, cobalt, nickel, and lithium. Three of them are in Indonesia. I think it's just a matter of strategy. Maybe they asked for more at that time, but Mr. Luhut didn't want to give in yet. That is normal [in negotiations]. We should not be dictated by entrepreneurs," said Bahlil.
He also said that currently, there are already a number of global investors in the electric vehicle battery industry that would certainly invest in Indonesia, including LG, CATL, VW, BASF as well as British Volt. This is surely a special attraction for Indonesia.
"So if Tesla didn't invest, America would be supplied by Europe and the UK. In my opinion, geoeconomically, Tesla will see this as something interesting to develop," he said.
Furthermore, Bahlil admitted that he had not communicated with Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan regarding the results of the meeting with Tesla.
"I am also curious [about the results of the meeting with Tesla]. However, I believe Mr. Luhut has expertise in negotiating with Elon Musk. Insha Allah (God Will), we wish all the best so that what was agreed upon in America can bring benefits to the nation, the people, countries, as well as mutually beneficial deals," said Bahlil.
Previously, Tesla had expressed interest in building a factory in Indonesia, but the interest never materialized.
However, the hope of the electric car manufacturer to enter Indonesia again surfaced after the meeting of Tesla CEO Elon Musk with the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
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