Hospitals across Mexico are looking for quality life-science products and now Canadian firms are high on their potential supplier lists, thanks to the latest matchmaking sessions in Mexico.
We were overwhelmed by positive feedback from a life sciences event in Ottawa last year bringing together Canadian companies and Monterrey hospitals. Many other Mexican hospitals, we discovered, are looking for quality products too and we wanted to help showcase the vast range of Canadian offerings in the healthcare sector in other Mexican cities. So, the natural course of action was for us to hold a follow-up event in Mexico.
Working with our colleagues, the trade commissioners in Mexico City and Guadalajara, we set up an aggressive schedule of four-day market visits in each location earlier this spring, to connect with more than 10 private hospital groups. We also fit in two speaking engagements to set the stage for face-to-face meetings between Canadian suppliers and potential Mexican buyers.
The first such event was hosted in Mexico City by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico. Some 50 key stakeholders from the region showed up – much more than we expected!
On a panel with me were the president of Apotex, the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company, and the director general of Cofepris, Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks. Like sports overtime, the audience questions stretched out the session an additional 45 minutes!
In Guadalajara, we held a similar event with the Association of Jalisco, an alliance of private hospitals in Jalisco state. Our Canadian companies got to meet with some 42 representatives of the region’s private healthcare facilities—another big success all the way.
Mexico City and Guadalajara were a blur for me and the rest of the Canadian participants, but what stood out clearly was the awareness we created for the vast range of Canadian life sciences products, services and technologies.
I would go as far as saying that before this trip these hospital groups knew almost nothing about Canadian life sciences, but after their senior procurement people met our companies, they’ve put Canadian suppliers high on their procurement lists. Alongside my EDC colleagues serving the Mexico region, we worked closely with DFAIT and its Trade Commissioner Service to make these connections happen. We expect to create a similar program in other key markets for this sector.