JAKARTA — Indonesia will announce an export ban on a commodity later on Wednesday, President Joko Widodo said, without specifying which one, as he highlighted the success of his policy to stop nickel ore shipments to try to attract foreign investment.
Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said more bans will also be announced on shipments of raw commodities in the coming years as part of moves to develop resource processing industries onshore.
Once the world’s biggest exporter of nickel ore, Indonesia stopped exports in January 2020, a move that had enticed foreign investors, mostly from China, to build smelters in the resource-rich country.
“Previously we had stopped nickel. Today, later, we will announce (an export ban on) one more commodity,” Jokowi told an economic forum.
“Stop. We cannot allow more exports of raw resources,” he added.
Ministries overseeing mining and trade declined to share details on the plan to ban a commodity.
CNBC Indonesia on Wednesday reported that the upcoming ban would be on bauxite, but provided no details or disclose the source of the information.
Earlier this year Indonesia banned shipments of coal and palm oil for a few weeks, causing turmoil in those markets.
Jokowi said his nickel export ban had helped Indonesia jumped up the value chain for nickel-based exports, which then boosted overall shipments and improved its current account position.
The World Trade Organization last month ruled in favor for the European Union over dispute on nickel ore exports, which Indonesia is appealing.
Jokowi on Wednesday said he is certain Indonesia’s next export ban would face lawsuit, but said it will not deter him.
The president has previously said he wanted to expand the export ban to cover tin, bauxite, gold, copper and palm oil.
According to existing laws, an export ban on unprocessed mineral ore such as bauxite and copper is due to take effect in June 2023. (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe and Fransiska Nangoy; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Martin Petty)