Musk scheduled to visit Indonesia for Starlink launch, ministers says

FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his security detail leave the company’s local office in Washington, U.S. January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Tycoon Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, is scheduled to visit Indonesia to launch its satellite unit Starlink this Sunday, according to two cabinet ministers.

Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, a close ally of President Joko Widodo, said Musk would launch the service on the holiday island of Bali alongside the Indonesian leader.

While Indonesian officials have several times previously announced Musk would visit the country to attend events or discuss possible investments by his auto firm Tesla, this would be his first in-person visit.

He has spoken before via video link at a conference held in Indonesia.

Musk is also scheduled to speak at the World Water Forum in Bali, Luhut said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The Starlink launch will be held at a clinic in Bali's capital Denpasar, where Musk was scheduled to sign an agreement on connectivity for the health sector, Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi told Reuters on Thursday.

Starlink's Indonesia representatives could not immediately be reached for confirmation of the Musk visit and the company did not immediately respond to an email sent outside of U.S. business hours.

Starlink secured a permit to commercially offer its internet services in Indonesia earlier this month for retail consumers, Budi told Reuters last week.

Starlink will cooperate with local network access providers and Indonesia expects the firm to provide internet services to its remote areas.

(Reporting by Ananda Teresia and Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Martin Petty)

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