Three-quarters of Cayman’s construction firms expect their expenditures to increase in 2018 and 70 percent plan to increase local hiring this year.

Nearly two-thirds anticipate to expand their local operations during 2018.

These results are based on 30 firms, employing more than 800 employees between them, which participated in an industry roundtable hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.

While the results showed optimism among local contractors and industry professionals, they also revealed concerns over the cost of doing business and bureaucracy as the main obstacles to business growth.

“The general outlook is that the construction sector is doing well and firms are anticipating further growth and increased employment in the sector during 2018,” said Chamber President Paul Byles. “At the same time, members also expressed concerns on the cost of doing business and red tape. Many respondents seem very happy with several of the recent changes in the planning department but most remained unhappy with the inefficiencies associated with the Building Control Unit.”

The Chamber vowed to discuss the results with relevant members of government to seek possible solutions to some of the concerns raised.

“We may not be able to address all issues but we will continue to work with the relevant bodies to address them,” Mr. Byles said. “I am confident that some of these concerns will be addressed to enable our members of all sizes and in different segments of the construction industry to continue to thrive.”

The Chamber said it holds regular meetings with policymakers to share information on industry sectors. The outcome of roundtables will feed into those meetings.

The Chamber is planning future roundtable sessions for the tourism sector and the financial services industry and invites participation from the respective industry bodies, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and Cayman Finance.

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