Jakarta. Elon Musk, the founder of space exploration firm SpaceX and the chief executive of the world's most valuable electric car company Tesla, has promised to visit Indonesia in November after meeting with the country's president on Saturday.
The Indonesian government has been wooing Musk to invest in the country and take part in its grand design to leverage its vast nickel reserves to develop a world-class electric batteries industry.
On Saturday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited Musk in Starbase, SpaceX's rocket production facility, test site, and spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas, and invited the inventor to come to Indonesia.
President Jokowi said that this visit was a follow-up to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan's previous meeting with Musk last month.
"[This is a follow up] to talk to Elon about investment, about technology, about innovation, and now I'm here and meet directly with Elon to discuss future collaborations," Jokowi said.
Musk admitted that he was very interested in the future of Indonesia, which he viewed had "great potential" for some collaboration with Tesla and SpaceX.
Indonesia in 2020 had offered SpaceX to develop spaceports in the tropical country. Biak in West Papua and Morotai in Ambon are two potential spaces for space lunch sites situated very close to the equator. The location helps rockets to reach higher initial velocity and carry heavier payloads.
The space company had also launched Merah Putih satellite into orbit for state-owned telecom company Telkom Indonesia.
Musk also mentioned Indonesia's large population and consistent economic growth as factors that make him interested in the most populous country in Southeast Asia.
Tesla had been aggressive in sourcing nickel to supply its electric vehicle batteries. In 2021, it signed a cooperation agreement with Australian nickel mining company BHPto source nickel from the miner's Nickel West asset in Western Australia.
Accompanying Jokowi on the visit to Boca Chica was the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Minister for State Secretary Pratikno, and the Indonesian Ambassador to the US Rosan Perkasa Roeslani.