Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 8/22/2019
Angola is a lower middle-income country located in southern Africa with a USD 114.5 billion GDP, a 29.1 million population and a per capita income of USD 3,924 according to IMF 2018 estimates.   It ranks as the third largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and is the United States’ third largest export market in that region. 

Angola is a major oil producing country and OPEC member with output of around 1.37 million barrels of oil per day, making it the second largest producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The country holds significant proven gas reserves as well as extensive mineral resources.  Since 2016, Angola has experienced  negative economic growth attributed largely to the significant drop in oil prices and a substantial reduction in oil production.  Resulting national budget cuts, currency devaluations and high inflation levels have slowed import levels and hindered economic growth.  For 2019, the economy is forecasted to grow by 1.2 percent with an inflation rate of 15.4 percent.

Angola achieved its independence from Portugal in 1975, then immediately entered into a civil war that ended only in 2002.  Under the 2010 constitution, the country held its second Presidential election on August 23, 2017 electing Joao Lourenço from the MPLA party as the President of Angola.  The election represented a stable democratic transition.  Angola is designated as one of the United States’ three strategic partners in sub-Saharan Africa together with Nigeria and South Africa. 

Angola depends largely on the off-shore petroleum industry for 37 percent of its GDP, 75 percent of government revenues and 90 percent of exports.   Major international oil production companies active in Angola include:  Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, and Total.  Angolan exports to the U.S. consist primarily of petroleum, with modest shipments of diamonds and wood.  Given the country’s stated focus on diversifying its economy and building domestic production capacity, medium-term potential for U.S. companies exists in agriculture, industry, and key infrastructure such as energy, water and transportation.
Total Angolan imports in 2018 are estimated at USD 13.32 billion, a 20.5 percent decrease from 2017[1].  U.S. exports to Angola continued to decrease falling by 35 percent between 2017 and 2018 to USD 527 million.  Despite the decline, Angola remains the United States’ third largest export market in sub-Saharan Africa.  Aircraft and parts, chemical products, energy generation equipment, machinery, meat, and oil and gas equipment were the main categories of U.S. exports to Angola in 2018.  Leading countries supplying Angola’s imports in 2018 were China (17 percent), Portugal (13 percent), Belgium (5 percent), United States (4 percent), and South Africa (3.6 percent).
Angola exported USD 46.4 billion to world markets in 2018; an increase in value of 19 percent over 2017[2].  Exports consisted primarily of petroleum with modest shipments of diamonds and wood.  The U.S. imported USD 2.7 billion in Angolan products in 2018, up 3.6  percent with over 90 percent petroleum products followed by 7 percent diamonds, wood, and coffee.

Leading reasons to consider the Angolan market for U.S. export expansion include:
•                Large market size, with a population of 29.1 million and an economy of  USD 114.5 billion. Despite the current economic downturn, Angola is the third largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, so it is a logical next market for U.S. companies active in other countries in the region.
•                Angola imports most products due to its very low capacity to produce locally.  While an effort is underway to build domestic production capacities, it will require many years and depend on international suppliers of key inputs for infrastructure, manufacturing and agricultural development, thus driving demand for imports.
•                Strong interest in the United States.   Angolan private companies are eager to engage directly with U.S. companies and gain exposure to U.S. equipment, technologies and solutions related to priority economic sectors.
•                Angola lacks secular conflict and has long had a strong central government, though the current economic crisis has triggered an upswing in economically motivated crime.
•                The U.S. Commercial Service Angola, at the U.S. Embassy in Angola  is available to assist U.S. companies  understand the business environment and find local partners and sales opportunities.

[1] Global Trade Atlas
[2] Global Trade Atlas

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.