© Reuters. FILE PHOTO-Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs speaks during the B20 summit opening panel on Sustainable Resource Management for Economic Growth, ahead of the G20 leaders’ summit, in Nusa Dua, Ba

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia is finalising a new set of incentives to attract investment from manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs), a senior minister said on Tuesday, adding the government is still in talks with major companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:) and BYD.

Speaking at a nickel industry conference hosted by CNBC Indonesia, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources Luhut Pandjaitan said the incentives will be benchmarked against those offered by regional rivals Thailand and Vietnam, but did not provide details.

Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has been trying to attract EV makers to invest in the country, enticing them with its rich nickel reserves – the world’s biggest – which can be processed into EV batteries.

However, some automakers like China’s BYD have instead chosen to invest in Thailand, the region’s automotive hub.

“Tomorrow we are going to finalise incentives that we are going to give to any EV investment in Indonesia,” Luhut said, adding they were awaiting President Joko Widodo’s approval.

Luhut said he will meet BYD executives in China’s city of Chengdu on Thursday, and a meeting is also scheduled on August 3 with Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk in California, United States.

Indonesia has been wooing Tesla for years, hoping to host an Asian production hub for the American EV maker. Tesla has been in talks with Indian officials for an investment in an EV factory there.



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