Laboratory and Scientific Instruments

An Expert's View about Biotechnology in Mexico

Last updated: 8 May 2011

Given the significant amount of manufacturing that takes place locally, Mexico is an excellent market for laboratory and scientific instruments. According to the Mexican Council for Science and Technology, the import market for these products is valued at nearly US $98.9 billion with the U.S. as the largest foreign supplier. Japan and Germany are the second and third largest foreign suppliers respectively. The food and beverage industry is the largest end-user in the private sector. In most cases, laboratory and scientific instruments are free of import duties and non-tariff barriers.

Market Demand
Although the science and technology expenditure in Mexico is less than 20 percent of that in the U.S., Mexico still offers a good export market for laboratory and scientific instruments. In the early 1970s, as the Government of Mexico (GOM) implemented a policy to eliminate imports, a number of industries established manufacturing plants in Mexico, which also enabled access to other Latin American markets. This created a market for analytical equipment and scientific instrumentation particularly for process and quality control. In addition to Mexico’s industrial base, the government’s trade, energy, health and environmental policies have driven demand for scientific laboratory equipment. Mexico’s commitment to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) led to the implementation of a standards system, which required the development of a conformity assessment and laboratory testing program. In addition, the need to better detect and treat infectious diseases (e.g. AIDS, Influenza) and protect the environment have also stimulated demand for more rapid and efficient analytical equipment and measuring instruments. Furthermore, the Mexican economy is still highly dependent on crude oil revenues. However, with the significant decrease in its proven reserves and the growing need for cleaner energy sources, the GOM is quickly engaging in the research of energy efficiency and alternative energy . Mexico’s 2007-2012 Energy Sector Program focuses on the following:

• Development of hydrocarbon production and exploration programs in non-conventional fields
• Integration of the public and private petrochemical industries
• Nuclear power generation
• Energy efficiency research (electric power generation, transmission and distribution)
• Development of the National Renewable Energy Program
• Bio fuels feasibility studies
• Reduction of green-house gas emissions

With regard to the healthcare sector, Mexico’s 2007-2012 Health Program emphasizes the following:

• Strengthen disease prevention and control
• Integrate health care services into the National Healthcare System
• Invest in an IT healthcare system
• Strengthen healthcare research and education

Mexico’s environmental policies are creating a need for more scientific laboratory equipment. The country’s 2007-2012 Environment and Natural Resource Program places great importance on the following: a need to

• Increased research on biodiversity, ocean and climate change.
• Decentralization of scientific, technological, and innovation activities that contribute to the regional development
• diversification of investment sources for science, technology and innovation
• Re-allocation of public resources for scientific and technological R&D to improve the social and economic impact.

Market Data
Because the market for scientific laboratory equipment is so broad and diverse, it is difficult to provide precise quantitative market data. However, according to the Mexican Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT - Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología), total imports for scientific instrumentation were US $8.9 billion while total exports were US $3.5 billion in 2007. the U.S. is considered the largest foreign supplier of scientific instruments with an estimated market share ranging from 40% to 50%. No estimations or projections for market growth are available.

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Posted: 06 May 2011, last updated 8 May 2011

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