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Business Etiquettes in Angola

Business Meeting

The first meeting is often used to get better acquainted and business may not be discussed. It is often used to determine if you are the type of person with whom they would want to conduct business. This getting-to-know-you conversation is an important part of business and should not be rushed.

Meetings are not always as private and it may appear that there are several meetings taking place in the same room.

Agendas are not part of the business culture. If provided, they generally act as a starting point for discussions rather than an itemised list of what will be covered. It's best to avoid attempting to adhere to a strict agenda until a relationship has been established and even then it may be a challenge.

Meetings tend to have a formal ambiance. It is suggested that you not remove your suit jacket unless invited to do so, as this is seen as too casual. A strong Portuguese influence remains prevalent in Luanda and adhering to such behaviour demonstrates respect to the people with whom you are meeting.

When speaking with someone at your own level, direct eye contact means that you are sincere. When speaking to someone who is senior to you in age or position, indirect eye contact demonstrates respect. In general, women do not make direct eye contact when conversing with men, although this is changing.

If you know a person’s professional title, you may use the title when conversing. Government officials may be addressed as “Excellency” or "Excelencia" without using their surname.

Business Negotiation

Angolans strive to please others and as a result have a tendency to say what they think the other person wants to hear.

It is often difficult to get definite answers to questions, especially if the response would be negative. You may get a ‘yes’ when the answer is actually ‘no’.

It is important to watch for evasions or half statements. Rather than accept assurances at face value it may best to ask for specifics so that both sides have the same understanding of what statements mean.

Business Dressing

Being well groomed and having all clothing neatly pressed is appreciated. For men, dark coloured conservative suits with shirts and ties are appropriate. For women, stylish business suits or dresses and blouses are suitable. Some make-up and accessories are usually worn.

Business casual attire may be appropriate in certain industries.

Business Cards

Business cards tend to be given without formal ritual. Although not all Angolans have business cards, they expect expatriates and business travelers to have them. It's best to present your card so it is readable to the recipient.





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