Global nickel cartel off the table as Canada’s trade minister rebuffs Indonesia’s approach – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – November 28, 2022)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is keen to strengthen Canada’s relationship with Indonesia, but not so much so that it’s willing to join the nickel cartel that the emerging Asian power is trying to get off the ground.

“It’s an idea that Indonesia has proposed to us, but we are not looking at that particular model in the way that they have proposed,” Trade Minister Mary Ng said after she and three fellow cabinet ministers released the government’s first ever Indo-Pacific Strategy in Vancouver on Nov. 27.

Indonesia is a country on the rise thanks to a increasingly wealthy population of 276 million people and its vast nickel deposits, a metal that is suddenly in high demand because it is central to the production of electric vehicles, which are slowly crowding out cars and trucks powered by internal combustion engines as countries step up efforts to fight climate change.

“We want to be the main players in the EV battery industry,” Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president, told The Economist magazine earlier this month. One of the Widodo government’s strategies to do so, apparently, is to become the Saudi Arabia of battery metals.

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