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Foundation for Indonesia’s Advancement: The Potential of Indonesia [Natural Resource Reserves]

By: Prabowo Subianto [excerpted from “National Transformation Strategy: Towards Golden Indonesia 2045,” pages 139-141, 4th softcover edition]

The Potential of the Indonesian Nation

I’m involved in politics because significant changes to our circumstances can only be achieved through political means. For me, politics is fundamentally about the desire to improve community life. That’s the noble purpose of politics—the desire to better the lives of the people.

Despite facing many challenges, I see hope for Indonesia. Our natural wealth is incredible. We also have a predominantly young and productive population. Our location is strategically significant. Our domestic market is vast. With the right management of potential, I believe we can realize the aspirations of our nation’s founders. An Indonesia that is strong, advanced, and prosperous.

Natural Resource Reserves

Our nation has been endowed with extraordinary wealth by Allah. For instance, we have enough water for our own food production. Without sufficient water, it would be impossible for us to produce more than 30 million tons of rice for our daily consumption. Without enough water, we could not produce chili, sugar, meat, vegetables, and other staple ingredients.

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However, if not managed well, this abundance of water could become insufficient in some areas or excessive in others. Therefore, the government must and has built reservoirs, canals, and channels so that everyone who needs water can have access to it. Besides for drinking and for agricultural, livestock, and fisheries needs, water can also be utilized for electricity generation. I even got data from experts at Kemenkomarves, the potential for electricity generation from water and renewable energy sources reaches 437 Giga Watts (GW).

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For comparison, the total current electricity generation capacity in Indonesia is 81 GW. 437 GW is 5 times greater. This means if we want to and can manage it, all our electricity needs could be met from renewable energy sources. Moreover, according to economists and electrical experts, every 1% of economic growth requires an additional 1.1% of electricity. This means our potential electricity resources from renewable energy are actually sufficient to support our economy growing up to 5 times from the current figure.

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Besides water, we also have incredible mineral reserves in the Indonesian soil. We have tin, bauxite, copper, and various other minerals. Some of our mineral reserves are the largest in the world. Our nickel reserves are the largest in the world. Our tin reserves are the second largest in the world. Our bauxite reserves are the sixth largest in the world. Our copper reserves are the seventh largest in the world.

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If we manage our mineral reserves well, we can obtain significant state revenue. This revenue can be used for social welfare programs. For instance, since January 1, 2020, President Jokowi has banned the export of raw nickel or raw materials. If processed domestically, our income from nickel could increase 67 times from selling raw nickel.

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In 2014, the export of nickel and nickel derivative products from our country was only $2.9 billion or around Rp. 43 trillion. Last year, in 2022, the export of nickel derivative products reached $34.2 billion or equivalent to Rp. 513 trillion. Due to President Jokowi’s appropriate policy, our national income from nickel has increased by 11 times. And this is just the beginning. I will provide more details in the chapter about our future policies.

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