Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto and his Japanese counterpart, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko sign an agreement in Osaka on Thursday. Photo: Ministry of Industry.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Japanese automotive giant Toyota Motor Corporation has agreed set aside Rp28.3 trillion (US$2 billion), to develop electric cars in Indonesia, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said in a statement on Thursday (06/27).

The agreement was part of wider cooperation in manufacturing between the two countries under the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

Hartato and his Japanese counterpart, Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, signed the agreement in Osaka on Thursday.

“This agreement covers cooperation in the automotive, electronic, chemical, fabric and textile, chemical and food, and beverage sectors,” Hartato said.

Also present in the meeting was Akio Toyoda, the president of Japanese automotive giant Toyota Motor, who discussed a plan to develop electric vehicles in Indonesia.

“In the period 2019-2023, we will increase investment to Rp28.3 trillion. We ready to invest in the development of electric vehicles, but will begin gradually through the development of hybrid vehicles in accordance with the roadmap we have,” Toyoda said.

“Because the Government of Indonesia has a road map for the development of an Electric Vehicle (EV) so that Toyota assesses Indonesia as an EV investment destination because of its high market share and strong government leadership,” he added.

President Joko Widodo has said that he wants to see Indonesia’s automotive industry move into the manufacturing of electric cars soon. He has also pushed the country’s nickel miners to support the development of batteries for electric cars.

The government has also prepared emission-based tax cuts for cars to encourage electric vehicle development, Hartato said.

Furthermore Indonesia, Japan also agreed to cooperate in the supervision of marine plastic waste which was published in a joint statement between Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Japanese Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada.

The contents of the statement include a joint pilot project between the two countries as the implementation of microplastic supervision guidelines prepared by Japan, cooperation in exchanging information and developing guidelines for monitoring marine plastic waste based on findings from a joint pilot project.

In addition, training in Japan was also agreed to increase the capacity of Indonesian researchers in the marine waste monitoring methodology.

Japan is one of Indonesia’s largest investors, with interests in oil and gas mining, automotive, retail and banking sectors.

In addition to Japan, Indonesia also continues to strive to enhance bilateral cooperation with South Korea in various fields, especially in the industrial sector, both increasing trade and investment. To open up opportunities for greater synergy between the two countries, Hartarto held a meeting with South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy, Sung Yun Mo.

According to Hartato, the business and economic sectors of Indonesia and South Korea have made a lot of progress. Some of the strategic cooperation that has been carried out includes joint task forces to promote economic cooperation.

“We have the Indonesia-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in 2019 which targets bilateral trade to $30 billion in the next 2022,” he ended.

US$1=Rp14.200

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com