Mexico has the second largest medical device market in the Latin American region, valued at US$4.0 billion in 2013. The market is dominated by medical device imports, principally from the USA. US manufacturers benefit from geographic proximity and preferential terms under NAFTA. Some of these imports, however, are used to produce goods which are eventually sent back to the USA. Mexico is the third largest medical device importer in the Americas region, behind the USA and Canada; Brazil is not a big importer in comparison, as it relies on local production.
Political stability, economic growth, high demographics, chronic disease incidence, increasing health expenditure and new technology acquisition, particularly of diagnostic imaging and orthopaedic & prosthetic products in the public sector, are factors contributing to the medical device market growth. However, the weakening value of the Mexican peso against the US dollar has limited market growth in US dollars. The improved economic outlook has boosted growth prospects in the 2013-18 period. Future growth will depend in part on growth within the US economy, which remains the country's main trade and investment partner.
Exports of medical equipment and supplies were valued at US$6.4 billion in 2012, of which 91.1% was shipped across to the USA. The USA has been a favoured destination for Mexican exports and is still the chief destination for most medical devices, but President Obama has sought closer ties with Asia, in particular China. Some Mexican export sectors have been overtaken by China and maquiladora activity moved there, in spite of Mexico's geographical proximity and low operation costs. Mexico needs to develop its economy outside of the maquiladora programme for increased stability.
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