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Indonesian President Joko Widodo meets Tesla CEO Elon Musk after nickel talks

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo meets Tesla CEO Elon Musk after nickel talks

Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Saturday (May 14) in Texas to talk about potential investments and technology, Indonesia’s government said in a statement.

The meeting between Musk and Widodo, otherwise called Jokowi, came after a round of working-level conversations on a likely investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry and supply of batteries for electric vehicles.

Agents from Tesla were in Indonesia last week for meetings in regards to a potential battery-related investment, Indonesian officials and two individuals acquainted with the discussions have said.

Tesla had no immediate comment.

Indonesia for years has been attempting to protect a deal with Tesla on battery investment and possibly for Musk’s SpaceX aerospace organization.

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

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

Musk said there could be space for “partnerships in many things because Indonesia has a lot of potentials”, the statement said.

Indonesia has the world’s biggest nickel reserves, and Jokowi is quick to develop a nickel-based EV industry at home – from making nickel metal to producing battery components and assembling electric vehicles. Previously, he has likewise asked Musk to consider a rocket launch site in Indonesia.

Two deals throughout the last month have given new momentum to Jokowi’s push to develop an EV-related industry when global automakers have been scrambling to get supplies of battery materials and diminish their reliance on China.

A consortium led by South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, the global No 2 creator of EV batteries, declared plans last month to invest US$9billion in Indonesia as a feature of a deal that would incorporate all that from nickel refining to producing battery cells in Indonesia.

LG’s bigger rival, China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology, a Tesla supplier, revealed a US$9billion Indonesia investment in April.

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