Wednesday, October 4, 2023

China, Japan, Korea Pledge Support for ASEAN’s EV Ecosystem

Jayanty Nada Shofa
September 8, 2023 | 1:20 pm
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo attends the 26th ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Jakarta on September 7, 2023. (Antara Photo/2023 ASEAN Summit Media Center)
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo attends the 26th ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Jakarta on September 7, 2023. (Antara Photo/2023 ASEAN Summit Media Center)

Jakarta. It is a wrap for Indonesia’s 43rd ASEAN Summit, and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the event had delivered great outcomes on the economic front, as the bloc and its East Asian partners struck a deal on the development of an end-to-end electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.

Over the past three days, Jakarta hosted leaders from ASEAN countries and the bloc’s dialogue partners for a string of foreign policy talks. According to Jokowi, the gathering resulted in 90 outcome documents and a number of deals with the partnering nations. This includes an EV ecosystem cooperation between ASEAN, Japan, China, and South Korea.

“Praise be to God. We have agreed on the development of an end-to-end EV ecosystem that receives full support from China, Japan, and Korea,” Jokowi told a news conference in Jakarta on Thursday evening.

The ASEAN Plus Three is a cooperation mechanism between ASEAN and the said three East Asian countries. The ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Wednesday adopted a leaders’ statement on the EV Ecosystem. A copy of the document shows that the countries agreed that e-mobility was pivotal to energy transition. The partnership is expected to pave the way for ASEAN to be part of the global EV battery supply chain.


“We, … the ASEAN Plus Three Countries, … do hereby declare to support ASEAN to play an important role in the global production of the EV industry, including the batteries to support a robust EV ecosystem,” the ASEAN Plus Three leaders’ statement reads.

The leaders’ statement mentioned the harmonization of EV-related regional regulations and standards to facilitate trade, among others.

By “standards”, this would include unifying electric plugs that currently differ from one country to another, according to senior diplomat Berlianto Pandapotan Hasudungan not long ago. 

The document also shows that the ASEAN Plus Three partnership is not only limited to EV charging stations and product specifications but includes the components’ upcycling and disposal. The countries also agreed to explore cooperation on transition finance as well as investment opportunities.

China, Japan, Korea Pledge Support for ASEAN’s EV Ecosystem
Electric cars used throughout the 43rd ASEAN Summit as seen in Jakarta on August 31, 2023. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

The ASEAN Plus Three leaders’ declaration on the EV ecosystem is a follow-up to a similar document that the bloc had already adopted in May.

ASEAN nations Indonesia and the Philippines are abundant in nickel, a main ingredient in EV battery production. The 2023 US Geological Survey report shows that Indonesia has the world’s most nickel reserves, amounting to 21 million metric tons. The Philippines has approximately 4.8 million metric tons in nickel reserves.

The government over the weekend revealed that ASEAN booked a 570 percent growth in investment that went to the region's EV sector in 2022.

Read More: Downstream Processing of Minerals Becomes Jokowi's Main Talking Point at G-20

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