We Did It, You Should Too: Ore-Ban Talk Gathers Pace in Asia – by Jasmine Ng (Bloomberg News – August 22, 2016)


The Philippines should follow Indonesia’s lead and prohibit the export of raw metal ores, according to National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, who said he was a big supporter of the curbs imposed by his country and results so far have been a success.

The restrictions have helped to spur the local manufacture of greater-value products, the former finance minister said in an interview in Singapore on Monday. Although some revenue was lost in the near term, the policy means there’ll be much a better result in future, he said.

Indonesia halted the export of ores from 2014, roiling the nickel market, and some Philippine lawmakers are now weighing a similar move as President Rodrigo Duterte conducts an audit of the industry to ensure its compliance with environmental standards.

While Indonesia’s curbs opened the door to the development of the Philippine industry as its miners stepped into the gap, Brodjonegoro said policy makers there would do well to emulate Indonesia.

“I would recommend that because history has told us that dependency on natural resources could be very dangerous,” Brodjonegoro said. “Of course there might be short-term pain for the long-term gain.”

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