Narendra Modi in France
"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 in France: Indians can soon pay in Rupees via UPI at Eiffel Tower

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (July 13) 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.

Also read: PM Modi conferred with France’s highest honour by Macron in Paris

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.

Tamil philosopher’s statue to come up

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.

Also read: Indian diaspora accords grand welcome to PM Modi on arrival in Paris

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.

Recalls personal connection with France

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.

Also read: 35-40 countries, including Japan, in talks with India to adopt UPI: RBI official

“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.

Joins Prez for Bastille Day parade

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi on Friday joined President Emmanuel Macron for the Bastille Day parade as part of French National Day celebrations as the Guest of Honour.

Watch: Excitement soars as Indian restaurant in Paris prepares for PM Modi’s visit

Prime Minister Modi is in France for a two-day official visit. The French National Day, or Bastille Day, occupies a special place in the French consciousness as it commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution in 1789. The Bastille Day parade is the highlight of the celebrations.

A 269-member Indian tri-services contingent is participating in the parade. Three Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will also join the flypast on the occasion along with French jets.

(With agency inputs)

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