Angola

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Report
July 5, 2016

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Executive SummaryShare    

Angola is an upper middle income country located in southern Africa with a $102 billion GDP, $4,100 per capita income, and a population of 25 million, according to IMF data. As sub-Saharan Africa’s second highest oil producing country in 2015 behind Nigeria at 1.8 billion barrels per day, Angola is the United States’ fourth largest trading partner in Africa (down from third in 2014). Responding to significant revenue decreases given oil price declines, the Government of the Republic of Angola (GRA) is focusing on economic diversification to reduce its reliance on oil as a source of income as well as to reduce its dependence on imports. While Angola has prioritized the development of agriculture and agro-industry, fisheries, and manufacturing as part of its diversification strategy, it will take several years to see real results. The government’s strategy also focuses on encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs), increasing investments in infrastructure to reduce transaction costs, and improving the country’s economic competitiveness.

Angola is one of the United States’ three strategic partners in sub-Saharan Africa, together with Nigeria and South Africa. The bilateral strategic partnership dialogue has focused on eight key areas: political-social/regional stability, trade/economic growth, health, energy, agriculture, regional security cooperation (focused on maritime security and peacekeeping), education, and consular affairs. To strengthen the U.S. engagement on these issues, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service (CS) and the Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) both opened offices in Angola in 2014.

In 2015 the GRA both enacted a new private investment law (no. 14/15) and created a National Agency for Promotion of Investment and Exportations of Angola (Agência para a Promoção de Investimento e Exportações de Angola - APIEX). The measures aim to stimulate economic growth, diversify the economy, expand the private sector, and foster greater private-sector participation in Angola’s economic development. The new law has received a mixed reaction across the business community however, as it raises taxes on early repatriation of profits and dividends, for the first time makes a clear distinction between foreign and domestic investors, and imposes local partnership requirements for foreign investment in key sectors that some fear could dissuade international investors (see section 1.5). The GRA also reduced corporate income tax from 35 to 30 percent.

Infrastructure is also a major government focus. The Ministry of Energy and Water estimates that the development and completion of several projects, such as the expansion of the Cambambe Dam and the construction of the Laúca Dam (slated for completion in 2017), will increase Angola’s electric power generation capacity five-fold. The investment in new infrastructures for the production of electric power was accompanied by the incorporation of new public companies operating in the electric energy sector: Rede Nacional de Transporte, E.P. (RNT), Empresa Pública de Producao de Electricidade, E.P. (PRODEL), and Empresa Nacional de Distribuicao de Electricidade (ENDE).

Angola’s real GDP declined 19 percent from $126 billion in 2014 to an estimated $102 billion in 2015 as a result of the decline in global oil prices and a significant devaluation in the local currency, the kwanza, and is forecast to decline by a further 20 percent in 2016.. Inflation spiked to 23 percent in the first quarter of 2016 from the 2015 annual rate of 14.3 percent,, due to the devaluation and the removal of government fuel subsidies in early 2016.

Key issues to watch:

  • Angola’s investment climate offers significant opportunities, but it also encompasses substantial challenges and can be fraught with risks. The political environment is more stable than in many other countries in the region. Angola is rich in natural resources including oil, minerals, and land. There is an abundant supply of unskilled labor, particularly in the capital of Luanda. Skilled professionals are available, but often require additional training. While Portuguese is commonly spoken, English competency levels are relatively low. Under a newly adopted investment law, the Angolan government offers incentives to companies investing in the domestic economy. Real estate and living expenses can be prohibitively expensive. In 2015, Luanda was named the most expensive city in the world for expatriates for the third year in row by Mercer and the second most expensive by ECA International. Infrastructure is limited, roads are often in poor condition, power outages are common, and water availability can be unreliable. The investment climate is also hampered by rampant corruption, and a complex, opaque regulatory environment, as reflected by rankings from globally recognized entities as outlined in Table 1.
  • The oil crisis continues to impact the Angolan economy, creating drastic losses in export revenue and a severe limitation in foreign exchange, and forcing cuts in government spending. While the crisis has been difficult for the Angolan economy, there is hope that the acute economic stress will lead the GRA to implement much needed reforms.

FDI in Angola has steadily increased since the end of the civil war in 2002. The Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) reported 16.5 billion USD of FDI in Angola in 2014, up from 14.3 billion USD in 2013, predominantly in the oil industry FDI data is unavailable for 2015, but the oil crisis has likely reversed this growth trend. Portfolio investment in Angola is negligible.

Table 1

Measure

Year

Index or Rank

Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions Index

2015

163 of 168

transparency.org/cpi2015/results

World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”

2016

181 of 189

doingbusiness.org/rankings

Global Innovation Index

2015

120 of 141

globalinnovationindex.org/content/page/data-analysis

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)

2014

1,900

BEA/Host government

World Bank GNI per capita

2016

5,300

data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

 

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign InvestmentShare    

Attitude toward Foreign Direct Investment

Angola’s business environment remains one of the most difficult in the world. Investors must factor in pervasive corruption, an underdeveloped financial system, poor infrastructure, abundant but unskilled labor and extremely high on-the-ground costs. Surface transportation inside the country is slow and expensive, while bureaucracy and port inefficiencies complicate trade and raise costs.

However, the GRA actively seeks FDI although it also sets barriers to protect domestic businesses. In August 2015, a new private investment law was enacted that creates incentives for investment in the following strategic sectors: 1) electricity and water, 2) tourism and hospitality, 3) transportation and logistics, 4) telecommunications and information technology, 5) construction, and 6) media. Investments in the other key sectors of mining, finance, and oil are governed under different laws.

According to this law, responsibility for assessing foreign investments falls to the government ministry overseeing the sector where the investment will occur. For investments under $10 million, oversight and approval is under the jurisdiction of the Economic Commission of the Council of Ministers. For investments over $10 million, the Office of the President must approve and provide oversight.

There is no longer a minimum dollar figure required to invest in Angola. However, the private investment law distinguishes between foreign and local investors by establishing a lower bar for Angolan investors to be able to access fiscal incentives offered by the GRA: local businesses must invest a minimum of $500,000 versus the $1 million required of foreign investors. In Angola’s costly business environment, the financial incentives offered certainly could impact investment decisions.

The private investment law also sets a minimum of 35 percent local participation/partnerships in foreign investments for the six outlined strategic sectors: 1) electricity and water, 2) tourism and hospitality, 3) transportation and logistics, 4) telecommunications and information technology, 5) construction, and 6) media. The previous law did not require local partnerships with the exception of the energy, banking, and insurance sectors, though to be successful in Angola, the majority of foreign operators had local associates of some kind. The 35 percent minimum local participation requirement is likely to challenge foreign investors pursuing large investments projects in qualifying local partners especially due to local capital constraints as well as the lack of technical capacity in certain industries.

The law also requires foreign investors to pay higher taxes on dividends and profits they repatriate, particularly on repatriation within the first several years of the initial investment. The new tax on dividends starts at 15 percent, and can rise to as high as 50 percent depending on how much and how soon after the initial investment the repatriation takes place to encourage in country reinvestments. In an attempt to incorporate foreign companies into Angolan banking and taxation systems, the law requires financial operations through Angolan banks. The government later provided additional clarifications to the investment law by issuing several presidential decrees. Decrees No. 181/15 and No. 184/15 issued September 2015 provided further clarifications on operational details and roles of ministries in the decision making process of approving investments. They also enabled the creation of technical support units within each ministry to assess investments and increase each ministry’s capacity to assess investments. The decrees provided additional information regarding the creation of APIEX.

The new investment law divides Angola into Zone A and Zone B. Fiscal incentives for investing in Angola’s less developed regions (Zone B) are twice the level of incentives compared to those given for investing near Luanda and other major city centers (Zone A). Additional tax breaks/reductions are available for investors who create more local jobs, generate higher export receipts, and source more local content in their operations.

The law expressly prohibits private investment in the areas of: defense, internal public order, and state security; banking activities relating to the operations of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance; administration of ports and airports; and other areas where the law gives the GRA exclusive responsibility for its operations. However, it is common for Angolan companies operating in these restricted sectors to subcontract parts of, or the entire project to foreign companies. Investment in the petroleum, diamond, and financial sectors are governed by sector-specific legislation. Details on the petroleum investment guidelines are outlined in the Country Commercial Guide Best Prospect Summary of the Oil and Gas industry.

Angola’s foreign exchange laws require all companies operating in Angola to make all payments through local (Angola-domiciled) banks using Angolan currency (kwanza). This law aims to strengthen demand for the kwanza, and build the capacity of Angola’s underdeveloped financial sector. The law was implemented in two phases: first, from 2012, oil companies are required to pay taxes owed to the Angolan Ministry of Finance through a local bank; then in July 2013 the regulation expanded to all companies operating in Angola, requiring them to use local banks (and local currency) for all payments, including payments to suppliers and contractors domiciled abroad.

Foreign exchange availability in the market during 2015 averaged $1.46 billion per month. This rate is down from the US$1.6 billion monthly average in 2013 and 2014. For the first quarter of 2016, foreign exchange values available in the market dropped to $600 million monthly with euros also being auctioned (source: BNA). Weekly auction values have fluctuated from zero to $300 million since the beginning of 2016. Foreign exchange is auctioned by the Central Bank (BNA) to commercial banks for approved imports. Per the February 24, 2016, Presidential Decree No 40/16, foreign exchange availability in 2016 is expected to meet only 63 percent of demand and will prioritize: 1) employment retention (raw materials and inputs, equipment, technician salaries, and oil sector operations); 2) inflationary control (food, consumer necessities, fuel); 3) health and education; and 4) priority government expenses for necessary operations. Angolan companies report waits of 3-8 months to access foreign exchange for imports.

When, drafting and entering into contracts with Angolan entities, foreign investors generally seek to ensure that contracts are not governed by Angolan law, so as to avoid the accompanying GRA mandate that contracts be denominated and paid in kwanzas; a currency which has little commercial or practical use outside of Angola. Companies often find it advisable to seek appropriate legal advice prior to negotiating binding law, arbitration and payment clauses, and to seek to ensure that contract payments are denominated in and made in US dollars.

In addition to different applications of the new Angolan Investment Law between Angolan and foreign companies, Angolan or other companies familiar with the bureaucratic and legal complexities of the Angolan business environment hold an advantage over newcomers. In addition, the Promotion of Angolan Private Entrepreneurs law gives Angolan-owned companies preferential treatment in tendering for government contracts for goods, services, and public works. Only firms with a majority Angolan stake can benefit from Angolan Government’s loan guarantees, generous terms, and subsidized interest rates of the newly implemented US$1.6 billion fund to support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses from Angola Ministry of Economy’s Angola Invest Program

Other Investment Policy Reviews

Angola has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1996. There have been no investment policy reviews for Angola from either the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the last three years. The World Trade Organization (WTO) performed a trade policy review of Angola in September 2015. Excerpts of the Trade Policy Review concluding remarks by the WTO Chairperson are as follows:

Members noted that Angola had implemented a number of measures aimed at import substitution. Its applied tariff rates have been significantly increased and range from 2 percent to 50 percent, with a simple average of 10.9 percent (up from 7.4 percent in 2005). Members urged Angola to rectify the instances where applied tariff rates and other duties and charges exceed the corresponding bound levels. Several Members invited Angola to clarify the status of its recent Decree on import quotas, which is yet to be implemented. In lieu of import substitution, Members suggested that Angola reduce production costs through lower import tariffs on inputs and further trade facilitation measures with a view to enhancing competitiveness and promoting local production.

Members welcomed Angola’s new mining code and sought information about opportunities for foreign operators. They sought clarifications about Angola’s agricultural policy aiming at food security and about the sustainability of its fisheries sector. Some participants inquired about Angola’s plans to broaden its General Agreements on Trade in Services (GATS) commitments beyond its three existing sectors. Members were also interested in the Government’s priorities regarding, inter alia, competition policy, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) regimes, and state-trading and state-owned enterprises. Noting that Angola’s intellectual property regime had not been substantially updated since 1992, Members urged the country to effectively implement the TRIPS Agreement and to broaden its participation in international conventions on intellectual property.

Laws/Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

Business Registration

Obtaining the proper permits and business licenses to operate in Angola can be time-consuming. The World Bank Doing Business 2016 report identified Angola’s permit and licensing process as one of the most time-consuming of all countries surveyed (ranked 181 out of 189 in the survey). Launching a business typically requires 66 days, compared with a regional average of 27 days. While, the government established the “Guichê Único,” or one-stop shop, the process remains slow. In 2012, the government opened approximately twenty “Balcões Únicos do Empreendedor” to serve a similar role as the Guichê for micro, small and medium-size enterprises. In addition to the Guiche Unico process, new business owners must also complete processes at the Ministry of Commerce, the tax office, and a provincial court in the location where the business is headquartered.

The Angolan Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Agencia Promocao de Investimentos e Exportaces de Angola - APIEX) , housed within the Ministry of Commerce, is Angola’s investment and export promotion center, tasked with promoting Angola’s export potential, legal framework, environment, and investment opportunities in the country and abroad. APIEX, established on September 30, 2015, by Presidential Decree No. 184/15after the promulgation of Angola’s 2015 investment law, has gotten to a slow start as exemplified by its non-operational website (www.apiexangola.co.ao).

Industrial Strategy

The new private investment law no. 14/15, passed August 11, 2015, identifies six key industries which the government has defined as a priority: 1) Electricity and Water, 2) Tourism and Hospitality, 3) Transportation and Logistics, 4) Telecommunications and Information Technology, 5) Construction and 6) Media. Investments in the key sectors of mining, finance, and oil are governed under different laws. For more details on the oil and gas sector please refer to the Country Commercial Guide’ (CCG) Best Prospects.

In response to Angola’s economic situation, a Presidential Decree No 40/16 was issued February 24, 2016 outlining strategies for economic recovery. This Decree called for measures to: 1) encourage private investment in productive areas for domestic consumption and for exports including support by government credit facilities; 2) prioritization of productive-sector related infrastructure development (energy/water, transportation/construction, human resource development and business climate improvement); and 3) expansion of government revenue sources, such as taxes.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Angola limits foreign equity participation more than most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Foreign ownership is limited to 49 percent in the oil and gas sectors, 50 percent in insurance, and 10 percent in banking, although foreign companies may exceed these limits with Council of Ministers approval. Private capital participation in fixed-line telecommunications infrastructure is prohibited. In the publishing, TV broadcasting, and newspaper media sectors, foreign ownership is limited to 30 percent. (http://iab.worldbank.org/data/exploreeconomies/angola) The new private investment law requires at least a 35 percent domestic stake in FDI across the six strategic sectors. The private investment law expressly prohibits private investment in the areas of: defense, internal public order, and state security; banking activities relating to the operations of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance; administration of ports and airports; and other areas where the law gives the state exclusive responsibility.

Privatization Program

In December 2014, the GRA implemented the Electricity Sector Transformation Program (PTSE), which unbundled Angola’s two electricity companies to create three separate public companies. While the new companies are still public, the restructuring aims to pave the way for additional private sector investment, including off-grid and renewable energy projects, and eventual privatization. Electricity sector investment is open to both foreign and domestic firms (15 Luanda 698; 2015 ICS). Power Africa can facilitate investment in Angola’s energy and water sector. It is estimated that Angola has 18,000 MW of hydropower potential and the country’s National Development Strategy for 2013-2017 suggests private investment for small-scale wind and solar off-grid solutions.

In May 2015, the Angolan subsidiary of Portuguese conglomerate Nabeiro purchased Liangol, the Angolan state coffee company, for 1 billion USD. Angola, once the 4th largest coffee producer in the world, is seeking to develop the coffee industry after it was devastated by the civil war.

Screening of FDI

Until the passage of the new private investment law in August 2015, responsibility for screening new FDI fell to the National Agency for Private Investment (ANIP). ANIP was folded into a new investment and export promotion APIEX by Presidential Decree 184/15 in September 30, 2015, APIEX has experienced a lot of growing pains and the transition of expertise from ANIP has been slow.

With the new law, however, FDI review and approval is now the responsibility of the government ministry overseeing the sector where the investment will occur. Final approval for investments under $10 million is given by the Economic Commission of the Council of Ministers. For investments over $10 million, the Office of the President is provides final approval. The process can be time consuming and difficult to navigate, thus it is strongly recommended to retain legal counsel to assist in the investment application process.

The following documents are needed for investments under $10 million:

  • Letter of Investment Proposal addressed to the Minister of Commerce (MINCO);
  • A Power of Attorney or Delegation of Authority to represent the investment proposal (in case that you are not principal);
  • Presentation Template Model of the Project, Dully Completed;
    Note: To Obtain the template model of the Project you will have to make a deposit of 35,000 kz at the Account of UTAIP of MINCO 54847575/10/002
  • Copy of the legal documentation of the company (company status), commercial registry duly authenticated by the consular services of Angola at the country of company domicile  in case of  legal entities;
  • Copy of the legal documentation of the natural persons (identity card/passport and criminal record dully authenticated by the consular services of the republic of Angola at the country of the residency in case of natural persons.
  • Technical economic and financial feasibility study of the proposed investment project 
  • Environmental Impact Study (When is it applicable in Angola); and
  • Presentation of Documents in Duplicate

There are several objectives that the GRA seeks to accomplish through its FDI screening process: 1) create jobs for Angolans or transfer know-how to Angolan companies, 2) protect sensitive industries such as defense and finance, 3) prevent capital flight or other behavior which could threaten the stability of the Angolan economy, and 4) economic diversification.

Contact Information: Mário Líronel, Departamento de Promoção e Captação do Investimento; Agência para Promoção de Investimentos e Exportações (APIEX) de Angola. Rua Kwamme Nkrumah Nr.8, Maianga, Luanda, Angola Tel: (+244) 995 28 95 92| 222 33 12 52 Fax: (+244) 222 39 33 81 email: mariolironel@gmail.com; www.apiexangola.co.ao (under construction as of May 2016).

Competition Law

The Pricing and Competition Bureau under the Ministry of Finance was created in 2011 (Presidential Decree 162/11) to ensure the coordination and consistency of revenue and price.

Angola does not have a competition law, but it is possible to occasionally find references in statute to the prohibition of certain restrictive agreements and practices. For example, the law regulating the press expressly forbids situations of monopoly or oligopoly that may prejudice the independence of the media, pluralism, and fair competition. However, given the creation of the Pricing and Competition Bureau, developments in this area are expected in the near future. Single-firm conduct is not specifically regulated in Angola.

2. Conversion and Transfer PoliciesShare    

Foreign Exchange

The law requires foreign investors to pay higher taxes on early repatriation of dividends and profits within the first several years of an initial investment. The new tax on dividends starts at 15 percent and can rise to as high as 50 percent depending on the value and how early repatriation occurs. Under regulations established in July 2013 aimed at tracking capital movement, strengthening the banking system and capturing tax revenue, foreign companies are required to process transactions through Angolan banks.

Remittance Policies

Despite the removal of foreign exchange restrictions on commercial banks imposed in January 2014 as an anti-money-laundering measure following concerns about illicit flows out of Angola, investors face severe constraints in sending remittances abroad. Through the Central Bank (BNA) foreign exchange auction process, foreign exchange is reported to prioritize essential goods and services – food, health, defense and energy. Angolan companies report waits of 3 to 8 months to access foreign exchange for imports. Profits and dividends repatriation are not prioritized. The restrictions are being driven by the Angolan Central Bank (BNA), which has aggressively protected the country’s roughly $24 billion foreign exchange reserves.

Starting in 2014, an acute shortage of foreign exchange forced the GRA to limit availability of foreign exchange to prioritize essential goods and services (inputs critical to the oil industry, food, medicine, defense and essential raw materials), which has led to extreme delays in securing payments for goods sold and services rendered. The lack of foreign exchange has also resulted in a massive depreciation of kwanzas held in bank deposits. The BNA has devalued the kwanza currency official rate by 60 percent since January 2015 to 165 Kwanzas/USD as of April 2016 (BNA). A major gap exists between the official and informal rate of around 430 kwanzas/USD.

3. Expropriation and CompensationShare    

Angola’s regulatory authority for ports, the Port and Maritime Institute of Angola (IMPA), the Decreto Presidencial nº50/14 (Presidential Decree number 50 of 2014), published in February 2014, establishes the new Statute for Navigation Agents. This law requires shipping agencies to be exclusively owned by Angolan nationals in order to be granted a license to operate in the country. This legislation implements Law on Merchant Marine, Ports and Related Activities (Lei nº 27/2012, published in August 2012) requiring that port concession activities be reserved for 100 percent Angolan-owned firms. The 2012 law has so far not been consistently applied or enforced.

Changes in legislation and enforcement of existing laws pose risks of reducing company profits. This is especially true in the petroleum sector which has been subject to revised local content regulations, and continues to be impacted by the new foreign exchange law of 2012 which requires the petroleum industry to channel all payments through the local banking system. Given current severe limitations of access to foreign exchange in Angola, the requirement severely impacts petroleum service providers because they can be paid only in local currency and face extreme difficulties repatriating remittances or paying for supplies sourced abroad. The legislative process is generally secretive and closed to public review, though the government increasingly consults with major companies and industries on the drafting of legislation that will affect them, as was the case with the foreign exchange law.

4. Dispute SettlementShare    

Legal System, Specialized Courts, Judicial Independence, Judgments of Foreign Courts

The Angolan justice system is slow, arduous, and not always impartial. Legal fees are high, and most businesses avoid taking commercial disputes to court. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 survey ranks Angola at 187 out of 189 on contract enforcement, and estimates that commercial contract enforcement, measured by time elapsed between filing a complaint and receiving restitution, takes an average of 1,296 days, at an average cost of 44.4 percent of the claim.

In 2008, the Angola Attorney General ruled that Angola’s specialized tax courts were unconstitutional. This effectively left businesses with no legal recourse to dispute taxes levied by the Ministry of Finance, as the general courts consistently rule that they have no authority to hear tax dispute cases, and refer all cases back to the Ministry of Finance for resolution.

Bankruptcy

With a score of 0.00 out of 16, Angola is 189 out of 189 on the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Report in terms of resolving insolvency.

As a former Portuguese colony, Angola inherited the Portuguese insolvency legislation. The current civil procedure code in force since 1961 establishes two different processes:

  1. A bankruptcy procedure applicable exclusively to commercial debtors
  2. An insolvency procedure applicable to non-commercial debtors

The World Bank found that no foreclosure, liquidation, or reorganization proceedings were filed within the past 12 months.

Investment Disputes

The US Embassy is not aware of any formal investment disputes that have either gone to court or arbitration involving U.S. companies beyond complaints about market obstacles such as lack of foreign exchange access for remittances.

International Arbitration

In June 2014, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (MINJHR) opened the Center of Legal Alternatives for Conflict Resolution. Among other functions, the Center is tasked with providing consultation, mediation, and arbitration of contract disputes for both Angolan and foreign businesses. The process is designed to be faster and less costly than the traditional court system. The US Embassy is not aware of any cases having been reviewed by this court.

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Angola is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award (the New York Convention), the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), or the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG). Angola is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which can provide dispute settlement assistance as part of its political risk insurance products.

Duration of Dispute Resolution

The World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 survey ranks Angola at 185 out of 189 on contract enforcement, and estimates that commercial contract enforcement, measured by time elapsed between filing a complaint and receiving restitution, takes an average of 1,296 days, at an average cost of 44.4 percent of the claim. While a law adopted in 2003 (Arbitration Law No. 16/03) introduced the concept of domestic and international arbitration, the practice of arbitration law is still not widely implemented.

5. Performance Requirements and Investment IncentivesShare    

WTO/TRIMS

Angola is a signatory of the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs)

5.2 Investment Incentives

Angola's 2015 investment law gives foreign and domestic investors access to investment incentives, with a minimum investment value of $500,000 for Angolan companies versus a minimum of $1 million for foreign investors. Incentives for high-priority sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, energy, water, and housing include exemption from industrial and capital gains taxes for up to 10 years and from customs duties for up to 6 years. Many foreign companies now operating in Angola enjoy some form of tax or duty waiver. Companies need to apply for such incentives when submitting an investment application to APIEX and the relevant ministry.

Research and Development

Research and development are not significant aspects of the Angolan economy and the Government of Angola does not finance or subsidize research and development.

Performance Requirements

The government encourages "Angolanization" of companies’ work force and urges use of Angolan suppliers of goods and services. Presidential Decrees 5/95 and 6/01 limit expatriate staffing of local companies set up in Angola by national or foreign investors to 30 percent of the workforce and require Angolan and expatriate staff with the same jobs and responsibilities to receive the same salaries and social benefits. Enforcement of these laws is inconsistent. A 2008 decree requires oil companies to first seek Angolan employees to fill any vacant position prior to seeking expatriate appointment, which must also first be authorized by the Ministry of Petroleum. International oil companies are working with the government on a new local-content initiative that will establish more explicit sourcing requirements for the petroleum sector in staffing and material. At this time, local content regulations offer only guidelines that are loosely enforced and companies lack clarity as to how much is enough to satisfy the Angolan government.

While this situation may make it easier for foreign companies to comply with local content regulations, this lack of specificity challenges companies in their business planning. For example, it is difficult for companies to compare their competitive position against each other when competing for lucrative concessions and licenses from the government as local content is sometimes considered during competition for government tenders. In recent years, the government has begun to enforce Decree 5/95 more strictly. Expatriate employees typically receive no more than three renewals to their one-year work visas, for a total of three to four years in country. Approval for the fourth year is contingent upon the company identifying the Angolan employee who will take over the position after the expatriate leaves. After multiple renewals, some expatriate workers get around these limits by asking for residency, or starting a new process.

Data Storage

Not applicable.

6. Protection of Property RightsShare    

Real Property

Land reform in Angola took place after the end of the Angolan Civil War in 2002. After two years of preparation, the land law ('Lei de Terras de Angola) was passed on 18 December 2004. While the land act is a crucial step towards addressing land tenure, normalization of land ownership in Angola persists with problems such as difficulties in completing land claims, land grabbing, lack of reliable government records, and unresolved status of traditional land tenure. Among other provisions, the law included a formal mechanism for transforming traditional land property rights into legal land property rights (clean titles). During the civil war, a transparent system of land property rights did not exist, so it was crucial to re-establish one shortly after the end of hostilities. Transparency and land property rights are critical for the Angolan economic development given that two thirds of Angolans work in agriculture and are thus directly dependent on land property rights.

One of the main tasks of the new Angolan land laws was to protect people from evictions, which had frequently taken place during the colonial period as well as during the civil war, largely due to unclear land property rights. Under the Constitution, the state has ultimate ownership of Angola’s land with the exception of land protected under international law. The Land Law authorizes private rights to urban land (i.e. cities, townships) that have qualities of freehold titles: the landholder has a perpetual right to occupy and use the land, and the landholder can transfer, mortgage, and sell the right. However, the purchase and sale of untitled urban land must be by public auction, with prices of urban land fixed by price. The law permits most urban and some non-urban land obtained for economic purposes to be leased through long-term renewable leases, often for 60 years, from the Angolan government. Rural agricultural land used for economic purposes is usually leased for up to 60 years, most with renewal options at the end of the lease

Legislation governing the right of access to land includes the 2004 “Land Act” and “General Concession of Land Regulations”. According to the “Land Act”, the State may transfer or constitute, for the benefit of Angolan natural or legal persons, a multiplicity of land rights on land forming part of its private domain. Although it is possible to transfer ownership over some categories of land, the transfer of State land almost never implies the transfer of its ownership, but only the formation of minor land rights (leasehold being the most common in Angola). The recipient of private property rights from the state can only transfer those rights with consent of the local authority and after a period of five years of effective use of the land (GRA 2004a). Weak land tenure legislation and lack of secure legal guarantees (clean titles), are the reasons given by most commercial banks for their 86 percent refusal rate for mortgages requests. Foreign real-estate developers therefore seek out public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements with state actors who can provide protection against land disputes and financial risks involved in projects that require significant cash outlays to get started.

Registering parcels of land over 10,000 hectares must be approved by the Council of Ministers. Registering property takes 190 days on average, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 survey, with fees averaging three percent of property value. Owners must also wait five years after purchasing before reselling land. Implementing regulations, once written, are expected to set out guidelines defining different forms of land occupation, including commercial use, traditional communal use, leasing, and private homes. Over the years, the GRA has given out large parcels of land to individuals in order to support the development of commercial agriculture. However, this process has largely been unsystematic and does not follow any formal rule change on land tenure by the state.

Before obtaining proof of title, an Angolan natural person or an Angolan legal entity must also obtain the Real or Leasing Rights (“Usufruct”) of the Land from the Instituto de Planeamento e Gestao Urbana de Luanda. This is often a time consuming procedure taking up to one year or more. However, in the case that company X already owns the land the company must secure a land property title copy from the Real Estate Registry in Luanda. An updated property certificate ("certidão predial") is obtained from the relevant Real Estate Registry, with the complete description of the property including owner(s) information and any charges, liens and/or encumbrances pending on the property. The complex administration of property laws and regulations that govern land ownership and transfer of real property as well as its tedious registration process may reduce investor appetite for real estate investments in Angola. Despacho no. 174/11 of March 11, 2011, mandates the total fees for the "certidão predial" they include: stamp duty (calculated according to the Law on Stamp Duty); justice fees (calculated according to the Law on Justice Fees); fees to justice officers (according to the set contributions for the Justice budget); notary fees and other fees. The total fee is also dependent on the current value of the fiscal unit (UCF), which is currently at AOA 88.00.

Intellectual Property Rights

Angolan law recognizes the protection of intellectual property rights. Angola’s National Assembly adopted the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Intellectual Property in August 2005, incorporating the 1979 text, and the patent cooperation treaty concluded in 1970, and amended in 1979, and 1984. The Ministry of Industry administers intellectual property rights for trademarks, patents, and designs under Industrial Property Law 3/92. The Ministry of Culture regulates authorship, literary, and artistic rights under Copyright Law 4/90. However, no court case involving U.S. intellectual property has ever tested the strength of these laws. Angola is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and follows international patent classifications of patents, products, and services to identify and codify requests for patents and trademark registration. There are currently no statistics available regarding counterfeit goods seized by the Angolan government.

IAPI (Instituto Angolano de Propriedade Intelectual), is the governmental body within the Ministry of Industry charged with improving implementing patent and trademark law. The Ministry of Culture oversees copyright law. IP infringement is rampant, most notably in the production and distribution of pirated CDs, DVDs, and other media, largely for personal consumption. Counterfeit medicines are another major area of concern.

INADEC (Instituto Nacional de Defesa dos Consumidores), under the umbrella of the Ministry of Commerce, tracks and monitors the seizure of counterfeit goods. They do not currently have a website, nor do they regularly publish statistics. They publish the seizure of counterfeit products on an ad-hoc basis, primarily in the government-owned daily, Jornal de Angola.

For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/. The US Embassy point of contact for IPR related issues is Gustavo Guerrero (GuerreroGA@state.gov). For legal counsel, refer to Angola’s Country Commercial Guide Local Professional Services List (http://export.gov/ccg/angola090710.asp)

7. Transparency of the Regulatory SystemShare    

The regulatory system is complex, vague, and inconsistently enforced. In many sectors, no effective regulatory system exists due to lack of capacity. The Angolan Communications Institute (INACOM) sets prices for telecommunications services and is the regulatory authority for the telecommunications sector. Revised energy-sector licensing regulations have improved legal protection for investors to attract more private investment in electrical infrastructure, such as dams, power plants and distribution grids. Draft bills are not made available for public comment.

8. Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio InvestmentShare    

Angola’s capital markets remain very underdeveloped. To respond to the need for increased sources of financing of the economy, in 2013, the Angolan Government created the Capital Market Commission (CMC), which aimed to open a stock market by 2016. The CMC announced that in 2016 it will prepare a study regarding the establishment of a Commodity Exchange to trade agricultural and livestock commodities contracts. http://www.cmc.gv.ao/. Still in its infancy, Angolan authorities anticipate that their establishment of a functioning capital market, including a commodity exchange, will allow Angolan companies to access both domestic and international capital to support their growth and financing needs. Angola’s banks are likely the most established businesses that could potentially list on an exchange. However, Angola’s banks have struggled in recent years due to the country’s deteriorating economic environment and increasing high rate of non-performing loans (estimated 20 percent). Local analysts believe that Angola’s banks may go through a massive consolidation phase over the next several years, which may limit their ability in the near-term to list on the country’s fledgling stock exchange.

Angola has been slowly testing the waters in terms of accessing the international capital markets. In August 2012, Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB, managed the sale of Angola's first international bond, a US $1 billion, 7-year bond with a 7.0 percent yield. In November 2015, Angola placed a US $1.5 billion, 10-year Eurobond with a 9.5 percent yield. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, ICBC managed the 2015 bond placement. The Government of Angola has indicated that it would explore future bond sales, following its successful Eurobond issuance in 2015.

The BNA has developed a market for short-term bonds, called Títulos do Banco Central, and long-term bonds, called Obrigações do Tesouro. Most of these bonds are bought and held by local Angolan banks. The Obrigações have maturities ranging from one to 7.5 years, whereas the Títulos have maturities of 91 to 182 days. For information on current rates, see http://www.bna.ao/.

Foreign investors do not normally access credit locally. For Angolan investors, credit access is very limited, and if available comes with a collateral requirement of 125 percent, so they either self-finance, or seek financing from non-Angolan banks and investment funds. Subsidized government loan programs to promote economic development, like the new Ministry of Economy’s Angola Invest US $1.6 billion fund to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, are available only to majority-owned Angolan companies.

Money and Banking System, Hostile Takeovers

Angola experienced 14.3 percent inflation in 2015, with forecasts for 2016 at 26.3 percent. The BNA established a new monetary policy framework in October 2012 guided by the BNA daily published base interest rate, and a Luanda Interbank Offered Rate (LUIBOR). The BNA has been under considerable pressure to stabilize Angola’s economy as the kwanza lost 35 percent of its value in 2015, and close to 60 percent in the last 16 months. In February 2016, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recognized that Angola has made significant progress in improving its regime to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and will therefore no longer be subject to the FATF’s monitoring process. The BNA has struggled to fully implement reforms across Angola’s banks, which have lost their correspondent relationships with banks in the U.S. and now rely as of May 2016, mostly on Deutsche Bank for its correspondent banking needs. A limited number of international banks still operate in Angola and provide limited trade finance such as Germany’s Commerzbank and South Africa’s Standard Bank.

The mandatory reserve requirement for non-government deposits in kwanzas is 20 percent, and in foreign currency is 15 percent. The reserve requirement for government deposits is 100 percent, a measure that seriously limits lending by state-owned banks. Angolan banks extend little unsecured credit, instead requiring significant amounts of collateral (125 percent) in the form of property, or dollar deposits from the borrower. Commercial credit in Angola remains tight. Unclear land titles and ill-defined property rights frequently complicate and lengthen the process of applying for a mortgage. While the Central Bank tries to limit foreign currency risk, some loans are denominated in foreign currencies, but are consequently weighted at 130 percent for the calculation of risk-weighted assets.

Five banks, Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI), Banco Espírito Santo Angola (BESA), Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA), Banco BIC Angola (BIC) and Banco de Poupança e Crédito S.A.R.L. (BPC), control over 80 percent of total banking assets, deposits and loans. Angolan banks focus on profit generating activities including transactional banking, short-term trade financing, foreign exchange, and investments in high-interest government bonds. Loans to most sectors have slowed as a result of the economic crisis. BNA and local bankers have also indicated that there is a growing level of non-performing loans (12 percent in 2015 and 18 percent in 2016 as of the first quarter) across most sectors as clients struggle to make payments on loans as a result of the of the economic crisis. However, traditional commercial loans are still only a small part of banking in Angola. In the past, state and state-affiliated companies enjoyed privileged access to loans, often at concessionary rates without regard to risk, leading to several bank failures. As of December 2013, the latest figures available indicated that total customer deposits with the Angolan commercial banks was 4.6 trillion Angolan Kwanza (AKZ), an increase of 17 percent since 2012. Most banks focus their operations on short-term commission-related activities such as currency trading and trade finance. Even with the severe economic slowdown and reduction in overall foreign exchange availability, bank profit margins are still high enough to allow them to sustain operations.

In November 2015, Bank of America, one of the last, if not sole global wholesaler of dollar notes, ceased selling physical dollar notes to Angola. As part of their de-risking strategy, Bank of America instructed South Africa-based FirstRand Bank to stop providing dollar banknotes to Angolan banks due to concerns with downstream risks related to Angola. Angola has been impacted by the broader global de-risking trends where-in banks decide to close business in markets deemed too risky from an anti-money laundering and terrorist financing standpoint. International banks have held back on entering the Angolan market because the risk of fines outweighs the potential rewards of doing business in Angola. The supply of other hard currencies, including the Euro, was also severely impacted by this decision. In December 2015, London-based bank Standard Chartered Plc. also ended its U.S. dollar services and corresponding banking relationships in Angola, citing similar compliance concerns. Angola’s banks have lost their correspondent relationships with banks in the U.S. and most of Europe and now as of May 2016, relying mostly on Deutsche Bank for its dollar clearing business. Some private companies are struggling to pay overseas suppliers. Angolan banks have severely restricted access to foreign exchange as per the request of the BNA. Banks are only permitted to provide foreign exchange to the strategic oil sector and for food and healthcare needs.

9. Competition from State-Owned EnterprisesShare    

In Angola, certain state-owned enterprises (SOEs) exercise delegated governmental powers, especially in the mining sector where the government is the sole concessionaire. Foreign investors may sometimes find demands made by SOEs excessive, and under such conditions, SOEs have easier access to credit and government contracts. There is no law mandating preferential treatment to SOEs, but in practice they have access to inside information and credit. Currently, SOEs are not subject to budgetary constraints and quite often exceed their capital limits.

SOEs, often benefitting from a government mandate, operate mostly in the extractive sectors, transportation, commerce, banking, and construction. All SOEs in Angola are required to have boards of directors, and most board members are affiliated with the government. SOEs are not explicitly required to consult with government officials before making decisions. By law, SOEs must publish annual financial reports for the previous year in the national daily newspaper by April 1. Such reports are not always subject to publically released external audits (though state oil firm Sonangol is publically released). The standards used are often questioned. Not all SOEs fulfill their legal obligations, and few are sanctioned.

Angola’s supreme audit institution, Tribunal de Contas, is responsible for auditing SOEs. However, the Tribunal de Contas does not make its reports publicly available. Angola’s fiscal transparency would be improved by ensuring its supreme audit institution audits SOEs as well as the government’s annual financial accounts and makes public its findings within a reasonable period of time. This would improve the transparency of contracts between private companies and SOEs.

Angola is not a party to the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).

OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of SOEs

Angola does not adhere to the OECD guidelines on corporate governance for State-owned enterprises.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

In October 2012, President dos Santos established a petroleum-funded US $5 billion sovereign wealth fund called the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA). The FSDEA was established in accordance with international governance standards and best practices as outlined in the Santiago Principles. In February 2015, FSDEA was recognized as transparent by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI), receiving a score of 8 out of 10. FSDEA has the express purpose of profit maximization with a special emphasis on investing in domestic projects that have a social component (http://www.fundosoberano.ao/investments/). José Filomeno Dos Santos, son of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was appointed chairman of FSDEA in June 2013.

Half of the initial endowment of FSDEA was invested in agriculture, mining, infrastructure, and real estate in Angola and other African markets, and the other half is allocated to cash and fixed income instruments, global and emerging-market equities, and other alternative investments. In April 2015, FSDEA announced five venture capital funds totaling US $1.4 billion to be invested in mining, logging, agriculture, health, and entrepreneurship. (http://uk.reuters.com/article/angola-wealth-funding-idUKL5N0XA31J20150413)

10. Responsible Business ConductShare    

The government has enacted laws to prevent labor by children under 14 and forced labor, although resource limitations hinder adequate enforcement. With limitations, the laws protect the rights to form unions, collectively bargain, and strike. Government interference in some strikes has been reported. The Ministry of Public Administration, Employment, and Social Security has a hotline for workers who believe their rights have been violated. Angola’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CIACC) established the Principles of Ethical Business in Angola

In 2015, Angola organized an interagency technical working group to explore Angola’s possible membership in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Angola has been a member of the Kimberley Process (KP) since 2003, and chaired the KP in 2015, until handing over the rotating chair to the United Arab Emirates.

11. Political ViolenceShare    

Politically related violence is not a high risk throughout most of Angola, and incidents are rare. The last significant incident of political violence happened in 2010 during an attack against the Togolese national soccer team by FLEC-PM (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda—Military Position) in the northern province of Cabinda. FLEC threatened Chinese workers in Cabinda in 2015 and indicated in 2016 that they made claims about returning to armed struggle against the Angolan government forces, the latter have so far proven to be largely untrue. More recently, during the trial of 17 Angolan youth activists, the government forcibly suppressed demonstrations and vigils in support of the activists, who have all been convicted of preparatory acts of rebellion and criminal association and are serving between 2 and 8 year prison terms.

The likely continuation of depressed oil prices (remaining in the mid $40s) will only put further pressure on the GRA to maintain stability in the country. The GRA has already slashed its budget by half since the start of the economic crisis in 2014. While the GRA has taken an axe to its budget and has cut many subsidies for Angolans (including the gasoline and diesel subsidies), they are now asking Angolans to pay more in taxes. This will likely raise tensions in a country where the government has a spotty track record of delivering basic services. The government has levied new taxes on the oil industry and has even proposed new taxes for the public (payable through customer electricity bills) to fund trash collection in Luanda. There has been sharp criticism from the oil industry and the public regarding these tax increases. Many believe the tax measures are not well timed, considering the enormous pressure businesses and individuals are under at the moment.

Widespread civil disturbances are not anticipated for national elections to be held in 2017.

12. CorruptionShare    

The 2010 Law on Administrative Probity requires public officials to disclose their assets and income once every two years and prohibits public servants from receiving money or gifts from private business deals. The Penal Code makes it a criminal offence for private enterprises to engage in business transactions with public officials. Angola has incorporated regional anti-corruption guidelines and incorporated them into their domestic legislation, including: the Southern Africa Development Community’s (SADC) “Protocol Against Corruption,” the African Union’s “Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption,” and the United Nation’s “Convention against Corruption.” (http://www.makaangola.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6571&Itemid=266&lang=en)

Angola does not have an independent body to investigate and prosecute corruption cases. Three institutions – the Audit Court, the Inspector General of Finance, and the Office of the Attorney General – perform many of the anti-corruption duties in Angola.

http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/sub-saharan-africa/angola/initiatives/public-anti-corruption-initiatives.aspx

Irrespective of the laws on the books and institutions that exist to combat corruption, corruption, including bribery, raises the costs and risks of doing business and can create an uneven playing field for foreign investors. Corruption has a corrosive impact on both market opportunities overseas for U.S. companies and the broader business climate. It also deters international investment, stifles economic growth and development, distorts prices, and undermines the rule of law.

It is important for U.S. companies, irrespective of their size, to assess the business climate in the sector in which they will be operating or investing, and to have an effective compliance program or measures to prevent and detect corruption, including foreign bribery. U.S. individuals and firms operating or investing in foreign markets, should take the time to become familiar with the relevant anticorruption laws of both Angola and the United States in order to properly comply with them, and where appropriate, they should seek the advice of legal counsel.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Angola is not a member state to the UN Anticorruption Convention or the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

In Angola: None. In 1996 the GAO enacted by presidential decree the Alta Autoridade Contra Corrupção (High Authority Against Corruption) Act. The law has been in effect since then. However, no action to implement it has ever been taken.

Other resources to report corruption:

Mrs. Claudia J Dumas, President, Transparency International
1023 15th Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005

Tel: 1-202-589 1616; Fax: +1-202-5891512

Email: transparency@transparency-usa.org; Website: http://www.transparency-usa.org/

13. Bilateral Investment AgreementsShare    

Bilateral Taxation Treaties

In May 2009, Angola signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the United States, intended to provide a forum to address trade issues and to help enhance trade and investment relations between the two countries. The first meeting of the TIFA Council under this agreement took place in June 2010. The last meeting took place in February 2015 as part of a work-plan to guide the work of the TIFA Council. The Embassy has subsequently engaged with the GRA to advance the TIFA dialogue in December 2015 and has raised the dialogue with the recently appointed Minister of Commerce in April 2016.

In July 2010, the United States and Angola signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a bilateral Strategic Partnership Dialogue, which commits the two parties to increased bilateral relations. Angola has bilateral investment agreements in force with Cabo Verde, Germany, Italy, and Russia. Angola has also signed agreements with Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom, but these agreements have not yet entered into force. A list of current bilateral investment treaties and their status can be found on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) website.

Angola does not have a bilateral taxation treaty with the United States.

14. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance ProgramsShare    

Since 1994, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has provided investment insurance to projects in Angola. U.S. investors can apply for OPIC insurance, including coverage under the Quick Cover program for projects valued at less than US $50 million. OPIC’s portfolio in Angola currently totals US $20.1 million. Since the agreement, OPIC has committed more than US $321 million in financing and insurance across 14 projects in Angola. OPIC’s support has helped facilitate critical investments in the energy, services, and health care manufacturing and financial services sectors.

Angola is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which provides insurance to foreign investors against such risks as expropriation, non-convertibility, and war or civil disturbance. MIGA also provides investment dispute resolution on a case-by-case basis.

15. LaborShare    

The Angolan labor force has limited technical skills, English language ability, and managerial ability. Many employers find it necessary to invest heavily in educating and training their Angolan staff. Angola’s labor force was estimated to be 10.51 million in 2015. The literacy rate is estimated to be 71.1 percent (82 percent male, 60.7 percent female). (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2103.html). A 2013 National Statistics Institute (SNI) study indicates that unemployment is around 26 percent, although these figures are based on limited data taken primarily from urban centers. (http://www.adeanet.org/min_conf_youth_skills_employment/sites/default/files/u26/Angola%20Country%20Report.pdf) (https://asokoinsight.com/news/riddle-of-no-jobs-in-angolas-fast-growing-economy/). Eighty-six percent of primary school age children attend school. The Law mandates that children of 6 years old must attend school for 6 years. Twenty-nine percent of boys and 17 percent of girls attend high school. http://www.epdc.org/sites/default/files/documents/EPDC%20NEP_Angola.pdf

There are gaps in compliance with international labor standards which may pose a reputational risk to investors. Children are sometimes employed in the agriculture, construction, fishing, and coal industries. Forced labor is sometimes used in the agricultural, fishing, construction, domestic service, and artisanal diamond mining sectors. Additional information is available in the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report; 2014 Country Report on Human Rights Practicesand 2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.

Angola’s General Labor Law (Law No. 2/00), updated in 2015, recognizes the right of workers, except members of the armed forces and police, to form and join independent unions, to collectively bargain, and to strike, but these rights are either limited or restricted. To establish a union, a minimum of 30 percent of workers from a sector at the provincial level must participate and prior authorization by authorities with accompanying bureaucratic approvals is required. Unlike workers in the private sector, civil service employees do not have the right to collective bargaining. While the law allows unions to conduct their activities without government interference, it also places some restrictions on engaging in a strike. Strict bureaucratic procedures must be followed for a strike to be considered legal. The government can deny the right to strike or obligate workers to return to work for members of the armed forces, police, prison staff, fire fighters, “essential services” public sector employees and oil workers. The government may intervene in labor disputes that affect national security, particularly strikes in the oil sector.

Essential services are too broadly defined, including the transport sector, communications, waste management and treatment, and fuel distribution. Authorities have the power of requisitioning of workers in the essential services sector. Collective labor disputes are to be settled through compulsory arbitration by the Ministry of Labor, Public Administration and Social Security. The law does not prohibit employer retribution against strikers, but it does authorize the government to force workers back to work for “breaches of worker discipline” or participation in unauthorized strikes. The law prohibits anti-union discrimination and stipulates that worker complaints be adjudicated in the labor court. Under the law, employers are required to reinstate workers who have been dismissed for union activities

The General Labor Law also spells out procedures for hiring workers. For work contracts of indefinite duration, the law provides for a basic probationary period of up to six months, during which the worker or employer can terminate the contract without notice or justification. After the probationary period ends, dismissed workers have the right to appeal to a Labor Court. Many employers prefer to reach a monetary settlement with workers when a dispute arises, rather than bring cases before the Labor Court. The World Banks Doing Business 2016 report placed the average cost of firing a worker in Angola at 26.7 weeks of salary weighting for workers with one year, five years, and 10 years of tenure. The notice period before dismissing a worker is 4.3 weeks.

The government conducts annual surveys of the oil industry to implement a requirement that oil companies hire Angolan nationals when qualified applicants are available. If no qualified nationals apply for the position, then the companies may request the government’s permission to hire expatriates. Outside of the petroleum sector, policies to encourage “Angolanization” of the labor force, i.e. the hiring of locals, discourages bringing in expatriates. However, the associated visa processes for the oil industry are currently easier and faster due to a special process the Angolan Ministry of Petroleum offers companies in that sector. Additionally, working visas for other sectors are also easier to obtain, possibly due to application systems upgrades by the GRA or less expatriates demand due to the general economic slowdown.

16. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade FacilitationShare    

Angola is a signatory to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the GRA has indicated that they may join the SADC Free Trade Zone as early as 2017, pending building internal capacity and local industry to be able to compete with other regional markets.

In 2009, Angola established the Luanda-Bengo Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Under the new investment law, the SEZ offers tax incentives to its twenty resident companies. The new law established the general basis of private investment in Angola in special economic zones, free trade zones, development areas and other areas subject to specific regulations defining regimes of access to incentives. Benefits to operating in the zone include more reliable water and electricity access, as well as increased access to quality roads and infrastructure.

17. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment StatisticsShare    

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy

 

Host Country Statistical source

USG or international statistical source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA;IMF;Eurosta; UNCTAD, Other

Economic Data

Year

Amount

Year

Amount

 

Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD)

2014

$126,000

2015

$102,000

www.imf.org

Foreign Direct Investment

Host Country Statistical source

USG or international statistical source

USG or international Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)

N/A

N/A

2014

$1,907

http://bea.gov/international/direct_investment_
multinational_companies_comprehensive_data.htm

Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions)

2013

$146

2014

$75

http://bea.gov/international/direct_investment_
multinational_companies_comprehensive_data.htm

Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP

2013

$-5.7

2014

1.4%

N/A

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

Not Available. Recently the World Bank has put Angola among the ten countries in Africa least able to make available credible indicators, according to the indicator Capacity Statistics BM - an instrument that measures the capacity of States to collect, analyze and disseminate data on their populations and economies.

Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

Not Available. Recently the World Bank has put Angola among the ten countries in Africa least able to make available credible indicators according to the indicator Capacity Statistics BM - an instrument that measures the capacity of states to collect, analyze and disseminate data on their populations and economies

18. Contact for More InformationShare    

Dorcas Makaya, Economic Specialist, United States Embassy, Luanda,
Rua Houari Boumedienne 32 Miramar, Angola
+244 222 641 154
MakayaDC@state.gov