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Indonesia eyes extending export bans to bauxite, copper and beyond

Jokowi aims to develop downstream industries at home, but risks trade frictions

Workers stand overlooking the Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia's Papua province. Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo plans to ban copper experts tentatively in the middle of the year.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has taken further steps this year to limit the export of highly sought commodities in an effort to promote a resource nationalism that favors developing value-added downstream industries, but brings friction over free trade.

During an investment forum in early February, Widodo hinted at an export ban for tin, gold and other metals. During a January meeting of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, he said Indonesia will ban exports of copper "maybe in the middle of year."

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