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Mexico’s medical device industry is strong, but U.S. imports remain popular

January 1, 2023
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Medical and scientific devices are one of Wisconsin’s largest export categories.

Mexico’s population keeps growing, and that means the country needs a more extensive health care system with more hospitals and clinics, more medical professionals, and more medical equipment.

Some of that increase already has occurred. The number of hospitals operating in Mexico rose 13.7% during the 2014-2021 period, while the number of doctors increased 20% between 2013 and 2020.

There is also an increasing need for all types of medical equipment, including prostheses, dental tools, syringes, disposables, and hygiene products.

However, one of Mexico’s strengths is production of medical devices, particularly for imaging. Among the manufacturers with facilities in Mexico are Philips, AGFA, Canon, Konica-Minolta, Bayer, and Fuji.

Overall, Mexico exports more medical equipment than it imports, with exports totaling $6.4 billion in 2021 and expected to reach $6.9 billion in 2022, compared to imports of $5.9 billion in 2021 and an estimated $5.4 billion in 2022, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). U.S. suppliers represent about one-third of the imports.

Despite growing competition from low-cost companies in other countries, U.S. medical equipment is held in high regard in Mexico because of its high quality and the strong customer service that usually accompanies purchases, ITA said in a September 2022 bulletin.

Mexico is the eighth-leading global manufacturer of medical devices, according to American Industries Group, and is the No. 1 exporter of medical equipment and devices to the U.S.

Wisconsin companies that manufacture medical equipment and devices may find opportunities in the Mexican market. Medical and scientific instruments are Wisconsin’s third-largest export category, overall, and Mexico was the No. 2 market for Wisconsin products in 2022.




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