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Indonesia’s Decision to Block Exports of Unprocessed Nickel is Paying Off Big Time

File image of a worker operating a nickel-smelting furnace in Indonesia. Bannu MAZANDRA / AFP

Indonesia is the envy of commodity-exporting countries throughout the Global South, who have long tried to find a way to force foreign mining companies to process raw materials domestically prior to export.

Unfortunately for most countries, particularly in Africa, a combination of weak governance and insufficient infrastructure has made that impossible — but not so in Indonesia, where last quarter’s FDI numbers validate the government’s decision to block unprocessed commodities like nickel.

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