Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India and France have agreed to use Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in this European nation, opening a huge new market for Indian innovation.
Addressing the Indian community at the La Seine Musicale, a performing arts centre on an island in river Seine, Modi said very soon Indian tourists will be able to make rupee payments using UPI from atop the Eiffel Tower.
“In France, an agreement has been made for the use of India’s UPI…It will be started from the Eiffel Tower, and now Indian tourists would be able to make payments in Rupees, through UPI, in the Eiffel Tower,” the prime minister said.
In 2022, the National Payments Corporation Of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation that offers UPI services, signed an MoU with France’s fast and secure online payment system, called Lyra.
In 2023, UPI and Singapore’s PayNow signed an agreement, allowing users in either country to make cross-border transactions.
The UAE, Bhutan, and Nepal have already adopted the UPI payment system.
The NPCI international is in talks to extend the UPI services in the US, European countries, and West Asia.
Amid chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, Modi also said in a few weeks or months from now a statue of great Tamil philosopher Thiruvalluvar will be built in the Cergy Prefecture.
Modi said France has decided to grant long-term five-year visas for students pursuing a master’s degree in France.
The Prime Minister also appealed to the Indian community to invest in a big way in India as it makes rapid strides to emerge as a developed nation.
“Today every rating agency is saying that India is a bright spot. You invest in India now. This is the opportune time. Those who invest early will reap benefits,” Modi said.
Modi also recalled a personal connection with France dating back to at least four decades when he had become the first member of Alliance Francaise Centre in Ahmedabad way back in 1981.
“My attachment to France is quite old, and I can never forget it. Around 40 years ago, a cultural centre of France was started in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and the first member of that very centre is today talking to you,” the prime minister said.
Modi said India is the mother of democracy and the mother of diversity.
“This is our greatest strength. In India, there are more than 100 languages, 1,000 dialects. More than 32,000 newspapers get published every day in these languages,” the prime minister said.