Monday, October 2, 2023

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

Jayanty Nada Shofa
September 8, 2023 | 7:26 am
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo greets Indian Prime Mnister Narendra Modi shortly before the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta on September 7, 2023. (Antara Photo/2023 ASEAN Summit Media Center)
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo greets Indian Prime Mnister Narendra Modi shortly before the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta on September 7, 2023. (Antara Photo/2023 ASEAN Summit Media Center)

Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is planning to become the voice for developing nations at the upcoming G20 Summit in India as he plans to convince the world leaders that developing countries have the right to process their natural resources at home rather than exporting them raw -- a policy better known as “downstream processing of minerals”.

Jokowi is scheduled to fly to India to attend the G20 Summit later this afternoon. 

The president will meet the leaders of the world’s top economies, including US President Joe Biden who skipped the recent ASEAN talks in Jakarta. Aside from promoting collaboration and peace, Jokowi told the press of his plans to bring up downstream processing policy at the G20 talks.

“Indonesia will continue to be the voice for developing nations and advocate their interests related to inclusivity and the rights to prosper its people, including downstream processing policy,” Jokowi Jokowi said at a wrap-up presser of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on Thursday evening.


Jokowi has long been an advocate of the policy, often raising the issue in international forums or bilateral meetings. The president has repeatedly said that the policy had become a great boon to Indonesia’s economy. 

Indonesia has banned unprocessed nickel ore exports in favor of refining the mineral domestically. 

The government claimed that the ban has caused exports of refined nickel products to reach $33.81 billion in 2022. This marks a 745 percent increase from the export value in 2017, during which Indonesia was only exporting unprocessed nickel ores. Indonesia plans to replicate this policy in other commodities.

The nickel export ban has ruffled the European Union's feathers. The EU filed a lawsuit against Indonesia at the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying that the ban could harm Europe’s stainless steel production.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen already landed in New Delhi for the G20 Summit. So it is likely that Von der Leyen will be in the room when Jokowi talks about downstream processing policy.

The 2023 G20 Summit is slated to take place on Sep 9-10 in New Delhi. 

Indonesia assumed the G20 presidency last year. The Southeast Asian nation was originally meant to hold the G20 Summit in 2023, but Indonesia decided to swap presidency terms with India as it would have overlapped its ASEAN chairmanship.

Read More: Indonesia Passes ASEAN Chairmanship Baton to Laos

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