During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France, bilateral negotiations between the two nations will focus on areas aside from defence collaboration, with a special emphasis on extending cooperation in areas such as the digital economy, manufacturing, and sustainable energy. Notably, the visit looks good for the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as it strives to establish itself on the European stage.
The possibility of the implementation of UPI, India’s innovative digital payment technology, in France is a major highlight of the visit. UPI signed a significant deal with Singapore’s PayNow in 2023, allowing users from both countries to conduct smooth cross-border transactions. Building on this accomplishment, India’s NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and France’s Lyra have been working together for a year to introduce UPI to French shores. If all agreements are properly completed, France will be the first European country to implement UPI.
Prime Minister Modi intends to make the announcement from an iconic location in Paris, highlighting the significance of the occasion. The introduction of UPI in France represents a significant step forward in digital payments innovation, emphasising the usefulness and scalability of this technology on a worldwide scale. UPI’s track record of allowing secure and convenient digital transactions in India has brought it to the forefront of the financial technology sector.
PM Modi’s tour will also emphasise clean energy, building on his earlier inauguration of the International Solar Alliance in Paris in 2015, which currently has 100 member countries. This time, the focus will be on green hydrogen, renewables, batteries, and small modular reactors. Technical discussions on the 8000-page techno-commercial offer given by France in 2019 have progressed on the 1650×6 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project. This bilateral sustainable energy endeavour is expected to come to fruition soon, making the project a reality.
Furthermore, France aggressively seeks technology transfer and is interested in diversifying manufacturing and sourcing by encouraging French companies to view India as a global supply chain centre alternative to China. France and India’s relationship extends to EXAScale computing as well, with France previously being India’s partner in supercomputing and shared technologies.
The visit of Prime Minister Modi to France reflects a broader determination to improve bilateral ties and explore new channels of collaboration beyond defence. The conversations and actions completed during the visit are expected to pave the path for more collaboration in digital innovation, sustainable energy, and manufacturing, thereby strengthening the two countries’ partnership.