Indonesia to Fight EU at WTO over Nickel Export Curbs
Reuters reported that Indonesia is ready to fight the European Union's challenge of Indonesia’s ban on nickel ore exports at the World Trade Organisation, arguing the bloc's actions may hinder Indonesia's development plans. Indonesia’s Trade Minister Mr Muhammad Lutfi said "The Indonesian government is ready to fight for and make efforts to defend against the EU lawsuit. These efforts remind us of a time when the exploitation of natural resources was not for the benefit of the owners of natural resources themselves.”
EU launched its initial complaint in November, 2019, against the export restrictions on raw materials, notably nickel ore and iron ore, that are used to make stainless steel, saying the bans were illegal and unfair to EU steel producers. It escalated its challenge at the WTO last month by requesting the Geneva-based trade body form a panel to adjudicate on the case.
Once the world's biggest exporter of nickel, Indonesia banned ore exports last year to incentivise foreign investors to help develop a full nickel supply chain in the country, starting from extraction, processing into metals and chemicals used in batteries, all the way to building electric vehicles.