Vietnam will export 50,000 tonnes of rice to Sierra Leone following a memorandum of understanding signed in Hanoi on June 21.

The export would be part of Vietnam ’s total volume of 100,000 tonnes of rice to be shipped to the African nation in the 2011-2015 period.

The MoU, inked by the two countries’ Ministers of Industry and Trade, will be a legal basis for Vietnam and Sierra Leone to establish stable rice trading linkage, helping develop a strategic partnership on food supply, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

With the document, Vietnam continued confirming its position as one of the world’s leading rice exporters and working proactively in maintaining food security in the region and the world, the ministry said.

Sierra Leone is a West African country with a population of 5 million. In recent years, Sierra Leone had expressed interest in importing rice from Vietnam . The African country imported 14,000 tonnes of rice worth 8.04 million USD in 2010, accounting for 40 percent of the total imports from Vietnam .

According to the ministry, expansion of rice sales to the market was significant for Vietnam’s rice exports to Africa, helping build a potential, sustainable export channel to boost rice exports to other African countries./.