Business Etiquette, Language & Culture
• The business environment in Angola is essentially western in nature
• Portuguese is the official language, and penetration of English language is one of the lowest in the world. Some English is spoken in business circles.
Currency: The unit of currency is the Kwanza (Kzs). Small amounts of Kwanzas may be taken out of the country, but it is not convertible on international exchange markets. The US dollar is still widely accepted although, as previously stated, it is illegal to transact in US$. Credit cards are becoming gradually more acceptable throughout the city. Major hotels and supermarkets will take international credit cards. Visa seems to be the preferred option. Cash machines will only dispense Kwanzas and up to a maximum 20,000 Kzs per transaction. You should advise your bank you are travelling to Angola prior to using the ATM system.
International Time: Angola is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). There is no daylight saving.
Units of measurement: Angola uses the metric system.
Dress: Smart business dress is appreciated although because of the climate men often dispense with jackets and often do not wear ties. Businesswomen typically dress modestly with longer jackets and tops together with longer skirts or trousers. The more formal the meeting, the more formal the attire.
An appointment is expected to be made for a visit although it can be difficult to do this too far in advance. Appointments are often not confirmed until hours before the appointment time, the appointment can change at short notice and you may not be seen promptly. As a result, be prepared for this and build in a degree of flexibility into your plans. Hierarchy is important and your comments should be addressed to the most senior manager present.
Negotiations and Decision-making
In general Angolans are fairly open in their decisions and opinions. They prefer to take their time over decisions and solicit others' opinions. Angolans often put their cards on the table at an early stage. In order to ensure contracts are secured it will be necessary to visit Angola on a constant basis, at least every 3 months.
Hours of business
Business hours are based on the western week although most government offices close a couple of hours early on Fridays.
Portuguese is the main language of business, but nearly all senior managers in the Oil and Gas sector speak some English. Very few receptionists, secretaries, drivers or support staff speak English.
Public Holidays 2014
1st January - New Year's Day
4th February - Liberation Day (initiation of armed struggle)
12th February - Carnival
8th March - International Women’s Day
4th April - Angolan Peace & Reconciliation Day
18th April - Good Friday
21st April - Easter Monday
1st May - Employee’s Day
25th May - Africa Day
1st June - Children’s Day
17th September - National Hero Day
11th November - Angolan Independence day
25th December - Christmas Day
Source - UKTI
comments powered by Disqus