Over the last several decades, the production of medical devices in Mexico has grown steadily. This has been driven by the incorporation of new and innovative technologies, as well as by an increase in the global demand for such products.
According to data compiled by the Mexican Association of Innovation Industries of Medical Devices (AMID), the value of the production of medical devices in Mexico now totals US $15.2 billion and has generated more than 130,000 jobs. The industry also accounts for 0.3% of total Mexican GDP and 1.5% of all manufacturing gross domestic product.
It is estimated that the annual growth rate for the production of medical devices in Mexico from now until year-end 2022 will be in the vicinity of 3% per annum. Currently, Mexico is the eighth-most prolific exporter of medical devices worldwide. In addition to its standing as the largest exporter in Latin America, it is also the main supplier of this class of products to the United States.
Over the course of 2018, Mexico exported more than US $8.2 billion worth of medical devices. Beyond the United States, other large purchases of Mexican manufactured medical devices were made by countries such as Italy, Germany, and France. The main products exported to these nations included: medical instruments, surgery and dentistry products, veterinary products, and articles for orthopedics for fractures. Additionally, other Mexican medical device shipments to foreign markets included: mechanotherapy devices, oxygen, and aerosol therapy equipment, as well as x-ray devices.
Finally, medical devices in Mexico as a whole received cumulative foreign investment in the sector totaling more than US $2 billion during the period 2007-2017. Most of the capital influx came from the United States, but significant investment in medical device manufacturing activities in Mexico was made by other nations such as Germany, Singapore, Japan, and Canada.
Medical Devices in Mexico: Strengths and Opportunities
Although medical devices in Mexico are manufactured in a number of the country’s economic regions, the most advanced area of activity in this realm is that which is represented by the Medical Products Cluster of the Californias. This organization is comprised of a regional grouping of Baja California companies that represent the highest concentration of the development and manufacturing of medical products in the Americas.
During the period 2013 to 2018, Baja California was successful in attracting almost US $300 million worth of investment in the production of electronic and non-electronic medical equipment, as well as capital investment directed towards the manufacture of medical disposables. The state is one of the fastest-growing centers for medical product manufacturing in Western Hemisphere. As such, companies that are engaged in machining, casting, die-cutting, and stamping, as well as thermal treating and injection molding have also set up shop in Baja California for the purpose of servicing the medical device industry. Companies find Baja California, as well as the whole of Mexico, to be a hospitable venue for their investment due to the cost savings that can be enjoyed by manufacturing their products there. A recent analysis that was done by KPMG entitled Competitive Alternatives,” notes that Mexico offers a 21.2% savings in manufacturing costs for the medical device industry, compared to the United States.
Medical Devices in Mexico: Steady Sectoral Growth
From the perspective of the nation as a whole, data from the Mexican Ministry of Economy revealed that in the period from 2007-2017 more than 37 medical device companies and more than 46 medical industry products arrived in the country. In addition to Baja California, the lion’s share of this activity has taken place in San Luis Potosi, Mexico City, Tamaulipas, Sonora, Jalisco, and Chihuahua.
As the leader in medical devices in Mexico, Baja California accounts for 50% of the nation’s production. The industry employs 65,000 workers throughout the state in a total of 76 companies. Baja California economic development officials are expecting growth in the state’s medical device industry to continue robustly over the next several years due to a comprehensive promotion strategy that has been put into place.
In addition to targeted efforts to bring new companies to the state, Baja California has also implemented government-sponsored training programs that not only prepare workers during their higher education but also educates those individuals that are already in the workplace.