Three countries have been added to the Cayman Islands’ list of approved cement providers to help ease shortages suffered by the local construction industry amidst rising global demand.
The Customs & Border Control (Prohibited Goods) (Amendment) Order, 2021, came into effect on 14 July 2021, adding Colombia, Cuba and Panama as authorised countries for the purposes of importing cement to the Cayman Islands.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Finance, Economic Development, Border Control & Labour Hon. Chris Saunders said, “The PACT Government is committed to supporting sustainable development, lowering construction costs and encouraging increased Caymanian home ownership. Adding to the list of countries approved for cement importation will provide much-needed cement supplies to the local construction industry and help prevent building delays.”
Deputy Premier Saunders noted that cement shortages have affected local homeowners needing to make urgent home repairs as well as impacting larger-scale commercial construction projects.
He said, “The shortage of cement has hit hard across the board, with cement regularly selling out before ships carrying new supplies arrive in port. Companies are now able to source additional supplies of cement from new markets, allowing greater supply to meet the increasing local demand.”
The global demand for cement is projected to continue rising over the next two to three years due to increased construction activity in developing countries around the world.
Deputy Premier Saunders said, “It is imperative for the Government to take swift decisions and timely action to mitigate against construction supply shortages that could negatively impact Cayman’s economic growth and infrastructure development. We have seen other countries across the region affected, and acted to curtail and limit the local impact.”
The Department of Customs and Border Control Service, in conjunction with other local enforcement agencies, will ensure that robust inspection and monitoring mechanisms are established with regard to the cement importation from new markets to ensure quality control and guard against any risks.