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India and New Zealand discuss possible launch of UPI in island nation

(Representational photo)

India and New Zealand are holding discussions on the possible introduction of the Unified Payment Interface system in the island nation to promote ease of doing business, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday.

This was discussed during a bilateral meeting between Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Textile and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution of India and Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth of New Zealand.

The two ministers have agreed to “continue deliberations” on the matter as it would promote ease of doing business between the two countries and promote trade and tourism as well, as per the joint statement issued after the meeting.

“Ministers welcomed early discussions between the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Payments NZ regarding the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system and agreed that both sides should continue deliberations on this issue,” the statement mentioned.

UPI is an instant payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application, merging several banking features, seamless fund routing, and merchant payments into one.

During the meeting, the two ministers acknowledged the strong step-up in engagement between businesses in the two countries, and the desirability of ensuring this provides impetus to the government-to-government dialogue.

The importance of the annual meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), established under the 1986 India-New Zealand Trade Agreement, and regular engagement at a senior level was also acknowledged, the statement noted.

They also held discussion on improving air connectivity between New Zealand and India, while welcoming the finalisation of the Memorandum of Understanding to further liberalise the bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two countries.

They also noted the “excellent cooperation” between India and New Zealand as part of the membership of both the countries in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.

“New Zealand and India enjoy strong people-to-people linkages; these extend over a range of activities including commerce, education, and tourism. People of Indian origin in New Zealand are making a strong contribution to all aspects of society. These linkages provide a strong base for advancing our economic cooperation,” the joint statement mentioned.

In committing to strengthening the trade and economic relationship, Ministers mentioned the intention of both the countries to test new and innovative approaches to economic partnership and that new initiatives should focus on encouraging, facilitating and coordinating collaboration of technology and expertise for genuine mutual benefit.

The opportunities in each other’s markets, which is of interest to businesses of both the countries, should be explored.
It noted the increase in engagement between both the countries under a collaborative approach that engages officials from across relevant government departments and the private sector, wherever appropriate. The broad and informal engagements are aimed at fresh ideas for new, innovative and productive areas for partnership between both the countries.