Let's face it: We call it the BRIC region, but everyone's interest primarily lies in India and China these countries extremely large populations combined with their fast-growing economies give them the potential to eclipse the size of many of the US medtech markets in the not-so-distant future.
But a couple of events in Brazil have given us reason to believe that this country should not be overlooked. In 2011, output across the medical device and diagnostic sectors in Brazil grew by 12%, and similar increases were seen in employment in the health care industry in the country. In 2012, the Brazilian government further renewed its commitment to expanding this industry by committing $6 million over 2012 and 2013 to promote medtech exports, with the goal being that these exports surpass a value of $1 billion by 2014, leading Brazil to be among the world's top five medtech manufacturers by 2020.
This push will have a big impact on medical device manufacturers; Brazil may be becoming an increasingly attractive location to set up medtech manufacturing facilities. In particular, we know that the dental industry has already taken advantage of manufacturing in Brazil; this industry has been the only medtech sector with a higher export than import value. And this trend makes sense. Brazilians have always placed a high emphasis on physical beauty, resulting in a large number of elective aesthetic procedures, such as dental implant placements. This market was therefore valued at approximately $195 million in 2011, compared to a much more modest $62 million in Russia, the second-largest of the BRIC dental implant markets. Neodent, a Brazilian company, also made the top 10 list of dental implant manufacturers in a Millennium Research Group report covering the US, Europe, and the BRIC markets this is telling regarding both the large size of this market and the importance of domestic manufacturing.
So Brazil might not seem as trendy of a place to invest as China or India at first glance, but don't overlook it particularly not if you're a dental or aesthetics company!