Importance of Downstreaming Industry in Papua – A Minister of Investment or the Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Bahlil Lahadalia, became the Inspector of the 77th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony of the Republic of Indonesia in Tembagapura held at 08.00 WIT or 06.00 WIB this morning (17/8). Also attending the ceremony was the President Director of PT Freeport Indonesia (PT FI) Tony Wenas along with the board of commissioners and senior management of PT FI.

Bahlil expressed his pride as a native of the region who grew up and proceeded in Papua, and was able to participate in the commemoration of the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia in Papua. In accordance with this year’s theme ‘Recovering Faster, Rising Stronger’, he is optimistic that the Indonesian economy will continue to rise from its slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has occurred since 2019.

In line with what President Joko Widodo said in the MPR Annual Session yesterday (16/8), he explained that one of the driving factors for the Indonesian economy today is the downstreaming of the Natural Resources (SDA) industry. The government has banned the export of raw goods, namely nickel, and to continue with a ban on bauxite exports in 2022 and tin in 2023.

This prohibition is a way for downstreaming to be carried out domestically so as to provide high added value and also create jobs for the people of Indonesia. So, Bahlil appreciated PT FI’s steps in building the world’s largest smelter industry, which is located at JIIPE, Gresik Regency, East Java.

He hopes that the construction of the second PT FI copper smelter can run according to the target, which will be completed by the end of 2023 and start operating in May 2024. The Ministry of Investment / BKPM is committed to providing full support to PT FI in realizing its investment plan.

“It must be remembered that PT FI is no longer owned by foreigners as it used to be. PT FI already belongs to Indonesia. 51 percent of the shares already belong to Indonesia, to all of us. Freeport’s mine is one of the classiest in the world. If we are able to manage it well, this will give Indonesia a bargain position in the eyes of the world, we as children of the country can manage domestic resources well,” he said.

            According to Bahlil, currently the downstreaming of industry in Indonesia is on the right track. He revealed that in 2017, Indonesia’s trade balance deficit with China reached 18 billion US dollars and in 2021 there will still be a 2.5 billion US dollar deficit.

It’s just that in the first semester of 2022, Indonesia’s trade balance with China recorded a surplus of 1 billion US dollars. Then overall Indonesia’s trade balance also recorded a surplus of 15.55 billion US dollars.

On this occasion, Bahlil also reminded PT FI to continue to collaborate with local entrepreneurs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) around the mining area in various forms of sustainable partnerships. This creates a positive multiplier effect and contributes to economic growth in the region.

“I want to convey that the impact of investment must be felt in the regions. Every investment that enters the entire Republic of Indonesia must collaborate with regional entrepreneurs and MSMEs. We have to make the regions become masters in their own country,” he said.

Through the momentum of the 77th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, Bahlil invites all elements of society, especially Papuans to jointly cultivate a collective and collaborative spirit. National unity is a strong asset for Indonesia to be able to overcome the challenges and threats of a global recession, and rise together to become a developed country.

“Torang Bisa. Free. Free.Free.!” concluded Bahlil. The 77th RI Anniversary ceremony was attended by the directors and management leaders of PT FI, contractor leaders, PT FI employees and their families, as well as TNI and Polri personnel serving at PT FI. The choir in charge are the sons and daughters of junior high school students in Tembagapura who are members of the Puncak Jaya Wijaya Foundation.

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