Despite reports that Elon Musk decided to use Malaysia as Tesla Inc.’s Southeast Asian base, Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinating Luhut Panjaitan remains optimistic that the EV maker will still invest in the country’s electric vehicle supply chain.
As noted in an Asia Times report, Musk and Indonesian officials held a low-key, 2.5-hour-long meeting on August 3 in San Francisco. The meeting reportedly lasted twice as long as expected, and speculations suggested that Tesla may have agreed to make a final decision about an Indonesia-based Tesla plant by the end of the year.
This time around, Panjaitan and his negotiating team kept details of the meeting private. This avoided a previous mistake by Indonesian officials, who reportedly annoyed Musk by making premature statements about Tesla’s plans for the country.
That being said, a source reportedly close to Panjaitan noted that Musk was “very open about what he thinks” regarding Tesla and SpaceX. Musk and the Indonesian officials seemed to have discussed Starlink during their meeting, as Health Minister Budi Sadikin, who accompanied Panjaitan at the meeting, noted that the satellite internet system was necessary to bring the world wide web to some of the country’s most remote areas.
The publication’s source also claimed that Tesla and the Indonesian officials discussed an EV production-related investment of at least $1 billion during their meeting. The investment, however, might depend on whether Indonesia could offer Tesla some concessions.
“The problem is in our court because we have not allowed him to do what he (Musk) wants. The most important thing is that everyone has to know what they will get,” he noted.