The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland had just ended yesterday. The invitation-only event is an annual gathering of business leaders, heads of states, as well as academicians and leaders of social movements.
At this year’s event, Malaysia was represented by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, plus representatives of Khazanah, PNB, and EPF.
Of special interest to the region’s automotive industry was how Indonesia pitched itself to CEOs of leading automotive technology companies gathered at Davos.
Indonesia Pavilion at Davos. Image from VOI
Indonesia’s delegation was led by Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, whose team had meetings with the likes of and Qualcomm.
“As the largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia continues to increase its MVA manufacturing value added (MVA),” said the minister at the opening of the Indonesian Pavilion at WEF 2022.
The minister pitched Indonesia’s natural resources potential for electric vehicle battery manufacturing as well as renewable energy, ahead of the G20 Summit in Bali.
“We (the Indonesian government) are very confident that the investment in electric cars (manufacturing) in Indonesia will go well,” Kartasasmita said.
The Minister also told Indonesia’s Antara news agency that his ministry is currently developing an information and communication technology (ICT) industrial ecosystem and products, such as laptops and tablets.
“Hence, we invite Qualcomm to take part in the (industrial) process,” he said after a meeting with Qualcomm’s CEO Cristiano Amon.
Indonesia's Industry Minister Kartasasmita
Kartasasmita also said that Industry Ministry is building the Indonesia Manufacturing Center, which will become a center for developing the latest Indonesian manufacturing technology.
“Thus, through the meeting, we expect that Qualcomm can assist in the development of the center,” he added.
His colleague Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto said “We focus on issues of food, energy, and finance. This makes Indonesia also play an important role in overcoming major interrelated challenges, especially those triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”
“We also want to convey that digitalization increased sharply during the pandemic, which was recorded in commercial transactions reaching more than 27 billion US dollars in 2021, thus making Indonesia the 5th country in the world with the most number of start-ups, with 2.300 entities,” he added.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto and CEO of Qualcomm
Representatives of the Indonesia government also met up with Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group’s board remember responsible for technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, the Volkswagen subsidiary responsible for development of electric drives and high voltage battery systems.
Schmall shared on his Linkedin a photo him with Bahlil Lahadalia, Indonesia’s Minister of Investment.
CEO of Volkswagen Group Components Thomas Schmall with Minister of Investment Bahlil Lahadalia
“A great end to yesterday was the #Indonesia Night. I had the chance to exchange ideas with the country's leading politicians. The country has a clear economic plan and is also a fascinating country with all its different cultures,” said Volkswagen’s EV battery boss.
Indonesia has ambitions to become the Arabia of the post-oil world, leveraging on its huge reserves of nickel. It is now busy positioning itself as a go-to place in the region for electric vehicle investments.
Watch the video below and see how the shrewd minister coyly slipped in Tesla. A sharp statesman this one is.
The country has since banned exports of nickel, and countries that wish to leverage on Indonesia’s nickel reserves are encouraged to invest in Indonesia, completing the processing of raw nickel and manufacturing of finished goods within the country.
The upcoming G20 Summit in Bali will also be a showcase of electric vehicle technology. The Genesis G80 Electrified, Ioniq 5 (to be assembled in Indonesia), and will be used as official cars to transport delegates.