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: 11/1/2018
Angola is a lower middle-income country located in southern Africa with a USD 102.3 billion GDP, a 28.1 million population and a per capita income of USD 3,330 according to World Bank GNI indicator for 2017. 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 1.55 million barrels of oil per day, making it one of the top producers in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The country holds significant proven gas reserves as well as extensive mineral resources.  Since 2014, Angola has faced a severe economic setback attributed largely to the significant drop in oil prices.  Resulting national budget cuts, currency devaluations and high inflation levels have slowed import levels and hindered economic growth.  In 2016, local currency-based GDP stagnated at 0 percent growth, while real growth (in US dollars) declined 6.6 percent.  For 2017, the IMF projected that local currency-based GDP would grow by 1.3 percent and that inflation would drop to 20 percent from a high of 45 percent in 2016.

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 50 percent of GDP, 75 percent of government revenues and 90 percent of exports.   Major international oil production companies active in Angola include: Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, and Total.  U.S. exports to Angola concentrate in the oil and gas sector.  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 2017 are estimated at USD 15.2 billion, a 4.7 percent increase from 2016.  U.S. exports to Angola continued to decrease falling by 35 percent between 2016 and 2017 to USD 810 million.  Despite the decline, Angola remains the United States’ third largest export market in sub-Saharan Africa.  Aircraft, energy generation equipment, frozen chicken, railroad locomotives, and oil and gas equipment were the main categories of U.S. exports to Angola in 2017. Leading countries supplying Angola’s imports in 2017 were China (15 percent), Portugal (13 percent), United States (5.2 percent), Brazil (4.6 percent) and South Africa (3.4 percent).

Angola exported USD 35.5 billion to world markets in 2017 an increase in value of 22.5 percent over 2016.  Exports consisted primarily of petroleum with modest shipments of diamonds and wood.  The U.S. imported USD 2.6 billion in Angolan products in 2017, down 8.8 percent with over 90 percent petroleum products followed by small amounts of diamonds, wood, and coffee.
Leading reasons to consider the Angolan market for US export expansion include:
•                Large market size, with a population of 28.1 million and an economy of  USD 102.3 billion. Despite the current economic downturn, Angola is the third largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, so it is a logical next market for US 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.
•                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, established in late 2014, is available to assist U.S. companies to understand the business environment and to find local partners and sales opportunities.


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.

Angola Trade Development and Promotion