Jakarta: President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) highlighted that the government's efforts to stop the exports of mining raw materials had positively impacted the trade balance while affirming that the policy would continue to be applied.
“Our brave step to stop the export of raw nickel materials is showing results. Hence, we continue to stop (the export of) bauxite, copper, tin, and others," Jokowi stated while opening the 2022 Indonesia Stock Exchange Trading on Monday.
Jokowi noted that Indonesia had recorded a trade balance surplus for 19 consecutive months.
Referring to data from the Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia's trade balance from January to November 2021 had recorded a surplus of US$34 billion or for 19 consecutive months since May 2020.
The value of Indonesia's exports also grew 49.7 percent (year on year) as of November 2021, and imports, including auxiliary materials, grew 52.6 percent.
"One of the reasons our exports are increasing is because we have stopped exporting raw materials for our coal mineral, nickel. What I see is one to two billion US dollars at the end of the year. Yesterday, it was reaching 21 billion, or 20.8 billion US dollars," Jokowi remarked.
The president emphasized that industrial downstreaming could help to increase Indonesia's exports. In line with this, the competitiveness of the Indonesian economy had also increased.
“If we look at our competitiveness ranking, we have also increased by three ranks. During a very difficult position in 2021, we were able to climb these three ranks, and we should be grateful," Jokowi added.
Earlier, the government had imposed a ban on nickel exports since January 1, 2020, as outlined in Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation Number 11 of 2019 on the Second Amendment to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Number 25 of 2018 concerning Mineral and Coal Mining Concessions.
A processed nickel ore called ferronickel could have an added value 14 times higher than the raw materials and could reach 19 times bigger if it is processed into stainless steel.
The government plans to continue to apply the policy to stop the export of mining raw materials for bauxite in 2022 followed by copper and other materials.