Vietnam will export 300,000 tonnes of rice to the Republic of Guinea a year from 2013 to 2015 following a memorandum of understanding on the trade signed in Hanoi on March 29.

The document was inked by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and Minister of Trade Mohammed Dorval Doumbouya of Guinea.

Minister Hoang said the MoU will create a legal framework for the establishment of stable and direct rice trade relations to help ensure food security for Guinea and develop the strategic partnership between the two nations in rice provision.

He expressed his belief that with both sides’ potential and efforts, bilateral economic-trade relations will see new developments in the future.

In addition to rice, Vietnam will boost the export of garments, footwear, tobacco, chemicals, bike and motorbike parts to Guinea while importing cashew nuts, metals and minerals from this African country, he said.

According to Hoang, rice has always been Vietnam’s main export to Guinea, contributing 23 million USD to the country’s 40 million USD export value from Guinea in 2012.

However, he noted that this figure failed to match the two countries’ potential as Guinea has a demand of importing between 350,000 and 400,000 tonnes of rice each year while Vietnam is the world’s second largest rice exporter with 7.7 million tonnes shipped last year.

Therefore, the ministry has worked with relevant agencies to speed up negotiations for the establishment of a legal framework for rice export, helping seek new markets and remove difficulties for local rice exporters, Hoang said.

Guinea is now one of Vietnam’s important partners in West Africa in particular and Africa in general with two-way trade exceeding 100 million USD in 2011.-VNA