According to the World Health Organization (WHO), since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 6 million deaths have been reported due to COVID worldwide.
On an economic level, the impact was felt directly on global production, with China – a major producer of components and parts for all types of devices – being directly affected, disrupting supply chains, and compromising small and medium-sized enterprises, among others.
Three years after the event, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the strategy for both the world and the medical technology elite, as elective surgeries resumed and hospitals became less hectic, and medical device companies struggled to recover revenues reduced during the global crisis.
According to the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), precision and medical equipment continues to be the main export product. It showed a percentage variation from the first semester of 2020 to 2021 of more than 46%, that is, a net variation of US$788 million.
Currently, medical devices represent 34% of Costa Rica’s exports of goods and generated US$2,502 million during the first half of 2021. With this, the country came close to surpassing the US$5 billion goal it had for that year.
Thanks to the unsuspended production in Free Trade Zones and the proper management of biosafety of the employees by their employers, during the pandemic the regime was able to contribute to economic growth through the main products sold by the companies, such as prostheses for medical use, which sales increased by US$47 million.
This growth shows us that the diversification of exports and the different markets that we have been building for many years, continues to be a very resilient and developmental strategy for the country,” said Andrés Valenciano, former Minister of Foreign Trade.
For the most part, the Medtech elite responded strongly in their latest fiscal years. Most of them posted revenue gains, with a handful of companies enjoying double-digit growth and beyond—some even returned to pre-pandemic growth levels.
According to the Medical Product Outsourcing’s (MPO) Top 30 Medical Device Companies Report for 2022, more than 10 of this profitable companies have some sort of presence in the Costa Rican Free Trade Zone regime.
Such is the first place on the list, Medtronic, which has part of its operations in Coyol Free Zone in Alajuela.
With a value of US$31.69 billion, Medtronic has been at the top the MPO Top Companies list for some time now. In 2017’s list, it became the largest medical device manufacturer in the world (by revenue) and has not surrendered the spot since. In October 2021, the company announced a “bold new look” to better reflect that position and its desire to remain as the leading Medtech organization going forward.
Another part of the new strategy of this brand has involved adding the tagline “Engineering the extraordinary.” The message is said to be a “call to action” to all employees of the organization. Regardless of title, they should try to help drive better outcomes around the globe. In addition to the tagline, the company updated its Medtronic Symbol, which has only changed a few times since Medtronic’s foundation approximately 60 years ago.
In August 2021, it was announced Medtronic was buying Intersect ENT, a global provider of Medtech solutions for ear, nose, and throat. The purchase involved the acquisition of all outstanding shares of the company for $28.25 per share, which translated to a corporate value of approximately $1.1 billion.
The second deal, made public in January 2022, involved Affera—a privately held developer and manufacturer of cardiac mapping and navigation systems, as well as catheter-based cardiac ablation technologies. Although the firm had no products on the market at the time of the announcement, its Affera Prism-1 cardiac mapping and navigation platform and Sphere-9 cardiac ablation catheter provided Medtronic with investigational technologies designed to enable rapid creation of detailed maps used by electrophysiologists (EP) to diagnose arrhythmias and deliver cardiac ablation therapy, respectively.
Other major companies with presence in Costa Rica that are highlighted in the ranking include Abbott, Cardinal Health, Phillips, and Smith+Nephew, among others.
You can read the “The 2022 MPO Top 30 Medical Device Companies Report” full analysis here.
Costa Rica has understood it provides a valuable ecosystem to enable the growth of these companies, while contributing to the quality of life of millions of people around the world.
Evolution Free Zone is positioned as an attractive and unique investment option for smart manufacturing services, and life sciences industry companies, located in a convenient area – 15 minutes from Costa Rica’s main airport – and with incredible potential for human talent development.
At CODE Development Group, we are excited to be a project that will continue to contribute to the growth of not only the canton of Grecia, but to Costa Rica’s positioning in life sciences. It is an honor to be the country that hosts the best company of these services in the world, and we want to turn our free zone into a hub for all these similar companies, to establish their operations in a country that has it all”, indicated Alvaro Carballo, president of CODE Development Group.
Learn more about the incentives your company gets by being part of Evolution Free Zone here.