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Angola: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Angola

Lightweight suits are recommended. Many Angolan businesspeople dress casually, wearing open-neck shirts. Any dark colours can be worn for social occasions. As Portuguese is the official language, a knowledge of this is an advantage in business transactions; French and Spanish are also useful. There are limited translation services. Avoid June to September as Angolans tend to take their holidays at this time.

Office Hours

Mon-Thurs 0730-1230 and 1430-1830, Fri 1430-1730; some offices open Sat 0830-1230.


Agriculture employs over 50% of the population but production has declined so much that, from being a net exporter, Angola now imports over half its food requirements.

Fishing, which almost ceased to exist, is now being rejuvenated with foreign aid. New oil and gas fields off the shore of Cabinda (an enclave in the north of the country) are being developed. However, Angola has only one refinery and so exports most of its oil in the crude form. The only other industry of any size is diamond mining.

Angola has successfully reduced inflation from 300% in 1999 to 12% in 2007, with growth at 21%.


US$61.4 billion (2007).

Main exports

Crude oil, diamonds, gas, coffee and cotton.

Main imports

Machinery and electric equipment, food product, textiles and medicines.

Main trading partners

Portugal, Brazil, France and USA.

Keeping in Touch in Angola

Mobile Phone

Coverage limited to Luanda and the surrounding area.


There are a few Internet cafés in Luanda. Access outside of the capital is limited.


Government-controlled media are predominant. Angola's only daily newspaper, Jornal de Angola, and the terrestrial TV service, TPA, are state-owned and carry little criticism of the government. The constitution provides for freedom of expression but the government does not always respect this and the few private media outlets are liable to harassment.

Private radio stations operate in the main cities but the state maintains a monopoly in radio broadcasting across much of the country.


Airmail between Europe and Angola takes five to 10 days. Surface mail between Europe and Angola takes at least two months. There is a fairly reliable internal service. Most correspondence is by telex.

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