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Getting to Angola

Visas/Passports
PassportYou need to plan well in advance when applying for a visa to Angola. Visitors must apply for a visa from the Angolan embassy in their country, in order to be allowed entry to Angola. The processing time, on average, takes around 15 working days. However, visas can be issued both before this time and sometimes later. Visa issuing posts are increasingly introducing the biometric system. All visitors to Angola are required to carry valid visas and Yellow Fever Certificates, which must be presented on arrival or face being inoculated at the airport.

By air
There are two weekly direct flights (BA) from London to Luanda, for those travelling directly from the UK, and other options include; via Johannesburg, Lisbon, Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai, Madrid, and Addis Ababa. SAA flies daily from Johannesburg. However, flights to Luanda are frequently full and good advance travel arrangements are recommended. It is also worth bearing in mind that travel costs to Luanda are relatively high in comparison with other regional locations.

At the airport
It is recommended that first-time travellers to Angola be met by a local contact at the airport. Although it is not essential, it is a nice touch for first-time travellers not familiar with the procedures. Security is improving so more and more business people are making their own business travel arrangements in-country. Be aware that although there are taxis from the Airport, the driver is unlikely to be able to speak English. 

Getting around
Accommodation in Luanda can be expensive and it is sometimes difficult to find rooms available at short notice. It is quite important to book a room at least four weeks before the date of travel in order to ensure accommodation is secured. Not only are prices quite high for the standard of services offered but often payment must be made in advance in order to secure the accommodation.

The traffic in Luanda is notoriously slow moving. Even short journeys can take an hour, depending on the time of day, traffic and weather conditions. You should allow ample time to get to your meetings.   

It is also important to emphasise that Luanda is rated as the most expensive city in the world. An average restaurant meal costs around US $70 – US $100 per head (2013), and in-country transportation costs can be quite expensive too. For example a car hired with a driver can cost up to US $300 per day.

Public transport is not a viable option and although security is improving, visitors are advised not to walk alone, especially at night. The FCO travel advice is regularly updated and visitors are advised to consult it before travel.

FCO Travel Advice
The FCO website has up-to-date travel advice to help you prepare for your visit and to stay safe and secure while you are there.

For advice please visit the FCO Travel section; www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/angola

 

Preparing to do business in Angola

Doing business in Angola is not straightforward. The complexity and bureaucratic nature of the business environment requires careful guidance for first-time business visitors and companies wishing to do business here. As a result, engaging the services of credible organisations or local contacts who have sound reliable market knowledge, experience and exposure to access accurate up-to-date information is essential for those who are serious about doing business in Angola. This approach can have substantial benefits and can significantly reduce market entry challenges, imparting valuable insight about on-the-ground requirements and business operations.

If UK companies wish to explore the approach outlined above UKTI Angola is aware of a number of emerging (credible and reliable) sources who are able to assist organisations with targeted market entry information, guidance and other related services. UKTI Angola can provide further details upon request.

UKTI’s team in Angola can provide a range of services to British-based companies wishing to grow their business in the Angolan market. Their services include the provision of market information, validated lists of agents/potential partners, key market players or potential customers, establishing the interest of such contacts in working with the company, and arranging appointments. In addition, they can also organise events for you to meet contacts or promote a company and its products/services.

Note: it is illegal to transact in dollars, and it is illegal for any provider of goods or services to decline to accept payment in KZs.

You can commission an Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) to assist your company to enter or expand your business in Angola. Under this service, the British Embassy’s Trade & Investment Advisers, who have wide local experience and knowledge, can identify business partners and provide the support and advice most relevant to your company's specific needs in the market.

To find out more about commissioning work, please contact your local UKTI office or see: www.ukti.gov.uk

 

How to do business in Angola

What companies should consider
Angola is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa; the market offers excellent business opportunities across-the-board for existing and future investors. However, the business environment surrounding the market can be quite challenging. Companies who intend to invest in Angola will have to consider several aspects such as high costs, lack of capacity, complex bureaucracy, ineffective communications network, language barriers and cultural norms and customs.

Identifying key stakeholders early on and establishing strong relationships with good and reliable partners will be a substantial part of any effective market entry strategy, and will enable the company to develop their understanding of the market, particularly with regulations that are specific to Angola.

We suggest the following tips:

• Perform due diligence using a reputable local law firm specialised in doing business in Angola

• Visit regularly and develop face-to-face relationships with local contacts

• Forming a Joint Venture with a local company can facilitate the process of establishing in Angola

• Finding a local partner who is well known

• Be prepared that market entry can take longer and cost more than in other countries

* Be resilient

* Businesses which can provide follow-up service such as maintenance/service and/or training in conjunction with their products often have an advantage in the market.

 

Market entry and start up considerations

• The registration and licensing process is bureaucratic and time consuming

* The 2012 Private Investment Law requires a minimum investment of US $1 million in order to benefit from incentives

• The government must approve any project involving oil and gas

• Companies must submit an Environmental Impact Study for approval prior to consideration of any project that could impact the environment

• The government and its organisations are not considered easy to deal with – adopt a patient approach

Shipping dock containers

• Local content requirements demand that companies purchase most of their services from companies that are wholly or partially Angolan owned

• The government is in the process of ‘Angolanising’ the workforce, requiring companies to hire Angolan nationals, unless there are no qualified nationals available

Source - UKTI


 

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