Oil makes up more than 90% of the country’s export revenue, and second to oil as an important export are diamonds. The north east of the country is home to extensive diamond reserves, with 70% of those discovered being of high quality.
The National Bank of Angola runs the country’s financial system, and as oil and diamonds are now the main economic resource, agriculture has dramatically decreased in recent years (especially following the civil war). Previous to the financial crisis, the country had one of the world’s highest annual average Gross Domestic Product growth rates, and even after its growth rates is at around 6%. However, poverty is still rife across the country.
When moving to the country, it is best to apply for jobs beforehand as it can be a challenge for foreigners once they are already there. With the country’s main industry being in oil, any foreign recruitment is likely to be in this sector. Websites such as Rigzone.com regularly look to fill positions based in Angola. However, it is a plus if you have any Portuguese language skills, as this is the locals language. Other job websites include oilandgasjobsearch.com and careersinafrica.com.
The majority of Angola’s population is still employed in agriculture, so there is a need for highly skilled engineers, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for expats looking to move to the country. As a result of the huge investment from abroad into the oil sector, expat jobs generally pay very well, but it’s worth bearing in mind that living costs in the capital are particularly high. In fact, Luanda has, for the second year in a row, been ranked the most expensive city for expats in Mercer’s Cost of Living Study 2014.
Angola’s income tax system means your employer will deduct a monthly amount. However, there is also a yearly tax, so as an expatriate it may be worth speaking to an advisor who understands the local system. Anything you earn in Angola can be taxed and it is calculated on a scale from 5% to 17% of your monthly earnings. Typically, expats’ tax amount will fall into the higher category as the wages are in the highest band.
If arranging a job beforehand, it may be worth speaking to your employer about tax equalization clauses to be included in your contract, as this would balance the rate of tax you pay in Angola with that of your native country. Taxes on necessities means there are high costs associated with living in Angola.