Musk to Visit Indonesia in September for Business Deal

16 Aug 2023

Electric Vehicles
Energy Transition

The founder of Tesla Inc. and Space X, Elon Musk, will come to Indonesia in late September or early October to discuss possible investment deals, a senior minister said. 


Mr. Musk is expected to sign a cooperation agreement on a lithium battery factory and the finalization of a cooperation for providing internet access in Eastern Indonesia by Mr. Musk’s telecommunication company, Starlink. 


"It will be signed in Jakarta when all negotiation processes are completed by late September or early October," the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, August 14, 2023. 


The cooperation in providing internet access was initiated by Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin as it would be intended for health centers and health services in remote areas. 


The discussion was then followed up by Mr. Pandjaitan, who met Elon in San Francisco, California, a week ago. In the two-and-a-half hour discussion, Mr. Pandjaitan said the Tesla boss expressed his will to immediately make an agreement regarding the investment in internet access and materials for lithium batteries. 


"(Mr. Musk's) team agreed not to make a Memorandum of Understanding but to go straight to the agreement for them to invest here," said Mr. Pandjaitan via his personal Instagram account. 


Mr. Pandjaitan considers Mr. Musk’s investment in Indonesia to be quite large, though he refused to provide further specifics, saying that he would only reveal further details about the investment after Mr. Musk’s planned visit to Indonesia next month. 


Indonesia has been aggressively courting various Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers, Tesla included, to further Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s ambition of realizing the establishment of a domestic EV industry. President Widodo intends to maximize the wealth of Indonesia's nickel ore reserves – the world’s largest – for electric vehicle batteries. 


Regarding Tesla's decision to establish its “gigafactory” in Indonesia, Mr. Pandjaitan explained that the electric car company was currently experiencing overproduction. 


Apart from the excess production factor, the current unfavorable global economic condition was also cited as one of the reasons Tesla had chosen to postpone its investment in any country, including Indonesia, he added.