ANGOLA - Economy
Managing Partner, Oliveira & Associados
More than just providing advisory services and tax consulting to its clients in Angola, Oliveira & Associados strives to partner closely with and grow together with its companies.
What is the mission and vision of the company?
Our mission has two main lines of actions. First, we want to prepare young lawyers to provide a great service in Angola. Second, we want to prepare our clients to be aware and compliant with their duties. Regarding that last part, the tax legislation is extremely new and has been constantly changing, so we need to keep our clients updated to ensure they comply with the law.
Will the new VAT be a challenge for many companies?
The new VAT will be positive for Angola; however, it is difficult to implement as Angola does not have a long tradition of taxes and regulations. The government needs to raise greater awareness regarding the procedures of paying taxes, why people need to pay them, and why those revenues are important for the country.
Who are your main clients, and to which industries do you provide services?
We work in collaboration with Andersen, which allows us to have links to experts in areas where our local employees lack the proper knowledge. On our team, we have several young Angolans working with us, as well as consultants in Portugal who help us in areas in which we do not feel comfortable. We work with clients in different industries, of which some are in the top five in their sector. We also support SMEs when they are starting out and provide them with the proper assistance for further development.
What is the importance of that training as a strategy for Oliveira & Associados?
To have our young lawyers trained is key, though we count on more experienced lawyers as well. We tend to hire young lawyers who do not have much experience and integrate them rapidly on the procedures we have standardized within the firm. We like them to think independently. If they learn how to develop their own ideas, it is easier for them to solve complex problems. We do not want lawyers who work for other lawyers; we want autonomous lawyers. They can also talk to me or other consultants in Portugal at any time if they have any questions. We have two young lawyers doing postgraduate degrees in banking and commercial and corporate law. We encourage all our employees to research and keep learning.
What guidelines for fair competition should be developed in the legal framework to guarantee the development of the economy?
There is legislation; we just need the enforcement. The legislation is broad, and, sometimes, it is challenging to put together a clear roadmap in order to easily understand what you need to do in your job or sector. It is necessary to enforce and update legislation, and the big law firms certainly play a huge role in this. They seek to improve the tech and energy legislation. Cyber-crime, for example, is a new problem, so we need to improve the law in that regard to better protect data in the country.
How would you rate the environment to do business in Angola?
It is, indeed, challenging, and it will take time for the business environment to reach modern standards of development and functioning. The legal framework on a general basis is improving, and Angola recently updated some of its most outdated regulations.
What are your main objectives for 2022?
As a firm, we want to grow more in terms of human resources and clients. We want to make our clients’ lives easier. In Europe and America, doing business is moving toward a more digital age, so we want to provide this assistance to the younger generation of clients who are used to working with digital platforms on a daily basis. We aim to move away from the traditional services and focus on legislation, so our clients feel more comfortable, and we can provide the best services possible. If we want to grow, we need to reinvent ourselves.
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