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Indonesia confirms bauxite export ban starting June 2023

Jakarta: To encourage domestic processing, Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday confirmed an export ban for bauxite starting in June next year as scheduled.

This policy is “to create more jobs in the country, increase our foreign exchange and more equitable economic growth,” said Widodo in a press conference.

Indonesia is among the world’s top suppliers of bauxite, with China its key buyer.

The government estimates that downstream bauxite-related manufacturing business will boost the state revenue from 21 trillion rupiahs (around 1.35 billion U.S. dollars) to 62 trillion rupiahs (around 3.98 billion dollars).

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The World Trade Organization last month ruled in favor of the European Union in a lawsuit over Indonesia’s policy of banning nickel ore exports in January 2020.

According to Widodo, this policy boosted Indonesia’s revenue from the nickel sector from 1.1 billion dollars in 2014 to 20.9 billion dollars in 2021, and it is expected to record 30 billion dollars this year.

The ban is aimed to replicate Indonesia’s success in developing its nickel processing capacity after halting exports of its raw form in January 2020, which enticed foreign investors, mostly from China, to build local smelters.

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