Jakarta. Indonesia is on course to ship $29.8 billion worth of steel exports this year, or about 19 times it was when the world's major nickel ore producer banned the export of the ore critical for steelmaking seven years ago, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said in his annual state of the nation address on Tuesday.
The achievement underlines the President's ambition to develop more local manufacturing industries that could process the archipelago's abundant raw material into value-added and create higher-paying jobs for the country's 271 million population.
"In 2014, [the steel export] was only around Rp 16 trillion [$1.1 billion], but in 2021 it increased to Rp 306 trillion. We hope to reach Rp 440 trillion by the end of this year. And that was only from nickel ore [downstreaming]," Jokowi said.
"After nickel, the government will also encourage downstream industry for bauxite, copper, and tin," he said.
Jokowi said that increasing downstreaming and exports would increase tax revenues and foreign exchange reserves, insulating Indonesia from exchange rate shocks.
He said the government was also committed to sustainable and low-emission industrial development.
"We must build an integrated domestic industrial ecosystem, which will support the development of the world's green economy ecosystem," Jokowi said.
"Clean energy from solar heat, geothermal, wind, ocean waves, and bioenergy will attract industrialization, producing low-emission products," he said.
Indonesia has become a key player in the global lithium battery supply chain. Electric car manufacturers from Asia, Europe, and America invested in Indonesia, Jokowi said.
The country also embarked on the rehabilitation of tropical forests and mangrove forests, and marine habitats, which had massive potential for carbon sink, he said.
In North Kalimantan, the government was building a green industrial park that could become the largest of its kind in the world.
"I am optimistic that we will become a producer of competitive green products in the international market. These efforts can be directly synergized with programs to increase food production and bioenergy," he said.