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Mexico's Medical Device Industry Growing Rapidly

While many people think of BRIC countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China as growth leaders, Mexico is also making significant steps. In particular, the country's medical device industry is poised for upward movement. Industry analysts predict that the fabrication of medical devices and related technologies will increase 74% over the next decade. This represents an increase from $8.5 billion in 2011 to a forecasted $14.9 billion in 2020.

In total, there are 2321 separate "economic units" in Mexico that play a critical role in the design or production of medical devices. Out of these, approximately one-third export their devices to the United States or overseas. Some prominent names in the Mexican medical device sphere include Tyco Healthcare, ICU Medical, Gambro, Medtronic, Smiths and many more.

Out of the global market, Mexico has risen to number 11 as the largest medical device exporter. For exports to Latin America and the United States, the country reigns as number one. In total, more than four-fifths of the medical devices produced in Mexico are sent north to the United States.

As the housing bubble and environmental / regulatory issues continue to plague China, the BRIC acronym may soon fade away. In 2011, Jim O'Neil of Goldman Sachs proposed a new acronym: MIST. MIST comprises Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey.

In many cases, rising wages in China have pushed production facilities to lower-cost regions. Because of this, growth in China could experience some stagnation over the next decade. MIST countries could play an increasingly-important role in the global market as pricing pressures lead to strategic changes at multinational companies. By 2020, Mexico is forecasted to take over three BRICS (Brazil, Russia and India), taking 7th place as the world's largest economy.


According to one market study, the global demand for medical device packaging is forecasted to hit $25.7 billion annually in the next four years. This represents a 5.9% annual increase.

The report notes that the United States, Japan and Western Europe will comprise almost three-fifths of the entire market. However, this demand is forecasted to expand below the global pace as multiple supplier competition and cost containment pressures dampen growth. However, developing countries like Mexico still show significant signs of growth.

Mexico has several significant advantages for transoceanic shipping companies. Since the country is located roughly midway between Asia and Europe, Mexico has significant potential to grow as a shipping hub for medical devices and packaging materials.

While public perception of Mexico has been tainted by narco violence and graft, the county offers pricing benefits that can't be found in many Western nations. As more international companies invest in Mexico, the country's importance in the global medical device market will continue to grow.

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