Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia during the First Export Release of Smelter Grade Alumina in 2022 Produced by PT Bintan Alumina Indonesia at the Galang Batang Special Economic Zone, Bintan Regency, Riau Islands Province, January 25, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 25 Januari 2022
Category: Remarks @en
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Good afternoon,
May prosperity be upon us all.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Guests,

Last month, I visited Sulawesi to see how the downstream nickel ore could be processed into finished products. I am surprised that we have become really advanced. Many people have no idea about that, but it is okay.

The most important thing about downstreaming is, as I often convey, we were colonized 350 years ago, then we should not just export raw materials. We keep exporting raw materials and it does not stop until now. Thus, we can only set the price for raw materials. As previously stated by Mr. Airlangga Hartarto, we could have sold it for 15 times higher [of the price] but we could only sell it for 30 only. It  can even be sold for 700 in the form of finished-goods. We cannot keep doing this.

To that end, since 2020, I have ordered Coordinating Minister, Mr. Luhut, to stop. Stop exporting nickel ore, raw materials, stop them all. No more exports. It must be semi-finished or finished-goods. That is it.

Yesterday, I just came from Muara Enim for the groundbreaking of coal downstream project into dimethyl ether (DME), which will be used for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This is also the same case, we export raw coal. We keep exporting raw coal. Actually, we can turn the coal into methanol or into DME.

Why do we keep doing this? I will calculate this. Now, I visited Bintan specifically to see how is the development of PT Bintan Alumina Indonesia going. I was surprised that it gets bigger. Mr. Santoni, this began in 2018, right? It is growing faster. This is what we pursue.

We will recalculate when we stop exporting raw materials for bauxite. Yes, we should stop. Because in Bintan, there is already the factory. We have the industry in Bintan so that we can increase added value.

Regarding DME, we have a lot of raw materials for that. Our LPG imports even reached Rp80 trillion every year. We are too comfortable with this.

We just help other countries make profits. Help them increase added value, create more job opportunities, receive taxes. Imagine if we build an industry like that. We get royalties, corporate taxes, individual taxes, non-tax state revenues, all of them. Most importantly, we can open as many job opportunities as possible, maybe 7 thousand jobs. Yesterday, there are 27 thousand jobs in Konawe, while there are 45 thousand jobs in Morowali. This is what the people need.

Thus, do not even think, once again, to export raw materials or nickel ore. No, no, no, no, no. Because we should really change our mindset. We should be an industrial country to be more advanced since the added value lies in there.

Against the odds, I will stop the exports. We have been sued by the WTO because we stopped nickel exports. Later, there must be another lawsuit if we stop bauxite exports. It is okay, we will fight it.

Otherwise, we are only the exporter of raw materials since the VOC era until whenever. It will not stop. Not to mention nutmeg, chocolate, and other herbs. Those who enjoy them are those who have added value. Those who enjoy them are those who have the industry.

I would like to extend my appreciation to companies that have the courage to build with investment, of course with the amount of risks involved. Hopefully, we can process all of our raw materials in the country.

Lastly, I also have a pantun/four-line rhyming poem to read. All of you have one, so do I.

Pantai Bintan indah dan asri. How about that?
Jalan beriring si burung dara.
Mari kita dukung hilirisasi industri.
Untuk mewujudkan kemandirian bangsa.

(The first two lines of the pantun are an introduction. The punch of the poem is to say “Let us support industrial downstreaming to realize a self-sufficient nation”)

And by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, this afternoon I hereby launch the First Export Release of Smelter Grade Alumina in 2022 produced by PT Bintan Alumina Indonesia.

I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.



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