San Jose, July 24, 2020. From July 20 to 24, the country’s aerospace industry and medical device providers participated in the Costa Rica – Mexico Business Meeting, a virtual space in which they presented their value propositions to entrepreneurs of the Northern Baja California region to analyze the development of partnerships between the sectors of these two countries.
The purpose of the meeting was to foster increased commercial integration between the advanced manufacturing industries of Costa Rica and Mexico to develop joint projects that take better advantage of the existing trade agreements between both countries. The event was organized by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) and the Economic and Industrial Development Agency of Tijuana (Deitac).
“After an analysis carried out by our Trade Promotion Office (OPC) in Mexico, it was determined that the aerospace and medical device ecosystem of Costa Rica could potentially work with the advanced manufacturing industry of Baja California, Mexico, in value chains formed by the industries of both countries. The purpose of this meeting is to expand on business opportunities for the companies that make up the Costa Rica Aerospace Cluster (CRAC) and CR Med Supply consortiums and to show potential commercial partners the certified quality, talent and innovation that characterize Costa Rican businessmen,” stated Pedro Beirute, General Manager at PROCOMER.
“The idea,” added Carlos Higuera, Director of the Economic and Industrial Development Agency of Tijuana (Deitac), “is to foster the increased integration of new players to our productive ecosystems and today we are creating a united front to generate an important basis in terms of value chains.”
The weeklong event included business meetings, a binational roundtable to analyze alliances and specialized talks on topics such as How to do business with Costa Rica / Mexico in advanced manufacturing and T-Mex Rules of Origin (Aero-Medical), among others.
Esteban Carrillo, Executive Director of both consortiums, stated that they have been looking at the Mexican market for over a year now because its importance in the aerospace and medical devices sector, and feels that Costa Rica is the perfect compliment. “This business meeting is an excellent opportunity. Our country is already at a good level in advanced manufacturing – we have the same certifications as other markets and we can offer services with a lot of added value. At the international level, Costa Rica is perceived as a strong, tangible and very attractive proposal in the aerospace and medical device sectors. We hope that this meeting is the beginning of a linking process between both countries, with a strong impact on the development of both sectors and that it provides quality jobs in our country.”
Advanced manufacturing in Costa Rica
According to data from PROCOMER, the precision and medical equipment industry includes more than 30 OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer), including Medtronic, Philips, Cardinal Health, Baxter, ICU Medical, Abbott, Hologic, CooperVision, as well as an ecosystem of companies that provide products for said industries, with national and international capital.
Costa Rica is the second largest exporter of medical devices in Latin America, surpassed only by Mexico, and it is the seventh largest supplier to the US, where 62% of national shipments are directed.
This industry generates approximately 22,400 direct jobs in the country and its average annual growth over the last five years is 11%. In 2019, the precision and medical equipment sector exported $3,699 million, 12% more than in 2018.
The aerospace industry, with over 50 years of experience in MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations), established a consortium, in 2015, made up of more than 30 organizations, including global industry providers.
The primary export sectors of the consortium include supplies for electrical, electronic, metalworking and plastics. In addition to this, some of the companies have experience in sourcing other specialty industries such as medical devices and automotive.
CRAC companies export to more than 30 destinations, primarily to the United States, which clearly reflects on their export experience.
Advanced manufacturing in Mexico
According to the National Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (CANIFARMA), Mexico is the Latin American country that hosts the most important manufacturing sector for medical products, and Baja California ranks highest in terms of number of companies, with 76 – 48 of which are located in Tijuana.
It is also the leading exporter of medical devices in Latin America and eighth in the world. This sector exported more than $8,000 million in 2019.
The aerospace industry, for its part, exported $9.5 billion according to the Mexican Federation of Aerospace Industries (Femia).
Mexico ranks 12th place in terms of global aerospace exports, of which 80.7% go to the United States, 4.7% to Canada, 3.5% to France, 3.2% to Germany and 7.9% to other countries. Major global industry players are already established in the country: Airbus, Bombardier, Aerospace, General Electric and Honeywell.
The advanced manufacturing ecosystem of Tijuana, Baja California, generates 49,000 direct jobs in the medical sector and 13,000 jobs in the aerospace sector.
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