He also stressed upon the need for swift removal of obstacles stalling the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

"We at the Centre have to team up with the state governments for export promotion and the states should also work hard individually to help drive exports," Narendra Modi said, addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust SEZ here.

Narendra Modi said the Centre had recently convened a meeting with states to identify the bottlenecks in exports and states would be given the right to set up their own Export Promotion Councils to drive foreign trade at the local level, hinting that they should not depend solely on the Central government interventions.

At present, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the Centre plays the role of a facilitator for pushing exports.

The states, Narendra Modi said, should also compete with each other in enhancing exports and focus on development of markets abroad, he said.

Voicing concern at a large number of stalled SEZ projects across the country, the Prime Minister said a high-level team has been constituted to review the problems and resolve them at the earliest.

"In the PMO, there is a special team to look into why SEZs are not finding takers and to suggest solutions for the benefit of the entire country," he said.

"Until we join manufacturers in export promotion, and unless States and Centre work together, we cannot achieve new heights in exports," he said.

Narendra Modi stressed the need for shifting focus from port development to 'port-led development' model to maximise gains.

The government, he said, had conceived 'Sagarmala', an ambitious project for maritime states, envisaging not merely port development, but port-led development which would include ports, SEZs, rail, road, air and waterway connectivity with the hinterland, including linkages of cold storage and warehousing facilities.

Noting that two-third of all global trade and 50 per cent of container trade happens through the Indian Ocean, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the ports sector.

"Ports can become gateways to India`s prosperity," he added.

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