Nickel processing goes on – by Editorial (Jakarta Post – November 25, 2022)

The recent decision of the panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body against Indonesia’s policy of banning raw nickel export should not in any way distract the government’s focus on its well-designed strategy to develop the processing of nickel and other minerals in the country.

The government should instead appeal against the verdict of the panel which ruled in favor of the European Union’s complaint that the Indonesian raw nickel export ban imposed since January 2020 violated WTO rules.

Indonesia, as a sovereign country, shall abide by the 1945 Constitution, which stipulates that land, waters and natural resources are controlled by the state and shall be managed and used to the greatest benefit of the people. Processing nickel within the country will optimize the value added of that mineral.

True, Indonesia, as a member country of the WTO, must also abide by WTO rules, but many of these multilateral trade watchdog rules are often subject to different interpretations in line with the national interests of its members, as exemplified in the case of the raw nickel export ban.

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