Nancy Stich
Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences Division
British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico
View from the Top

Looking to British Models for Inspiration

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 16:07

Q: What are the main healthcare objectives of the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico?

A: The British Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Division promotes the Chamber’s activities in these areas within the broader framework of promoting trade between the UK and Mexico. We are working with many types of companies in the sector, including pharmaceutical, insurance, and healthcare companies, among others. We have longstanding relationships with British pharmaceutical companies that have operations in Mexico as this has historically been the area that has seen the most significant investment in Mexico. However, the type of companies operating in the sector is now broadening steadily. The Chamber has now found a captive audience among the medical devices sector and the insurance industry. Our division is very active, meeting once a month. There is a lot of back and forth between our members, and we are very focused on the key issues that are impacting the industry. We have about 15 members linked to companies in the healthcare sector, all of which are very committed to helping Mexico develop in the right way. The Chamber’s work aims to support that commitment.

Q: What activities make up the bulk of the Chamber’s interaction with the health sector?

A: The Chamber works with trade commissions that come to Mexico, but our ultimate function is to support companies already operating in Mexico that require guidance relating to their operations in the country. Companies commonly need help liaising with an embassy or a government body but also require support keeping up with of the changing regulatory environment. We aim to make sure that both the legal industry and the corporations within the sector are connected, enabling companies to keep up-to-date with key considerations without necessarily having to schedule lengthy personal one-on-one meetings with their lawyers.

Q: What does 2015 as the year of UK-Mexico relations mean for the Chamber?

A: We are very much looking forward to more collaboration with the UK and we are in close contact with the British embassy regarding this matter. Throughout this year, trade commissions will come to Mexico from the UK to showcase what the country has to offer. These will include companies that work on anything from pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and nanotechnology to a range of other areas. For example, we organized a healthcare symposium congress in January 2015 that specifically addressed the problems associated with Mexico’s aging society. The UK is particularly well organized when it comes to addressing an aging population and Mexico is comparatively lagging behind. Compared to 40 years ago, Mexico’s population is aging far more rapidly and the country needs to build major infrastructure to support older patients in the next 20 years. Currently, the country has very few geriatric physicians and this could become a big problem if not addressed. We plan to look at the UK model to learn what is being done there and how such lessons could be applied in Mexico. This issue impacts the entire healthcare industry, including the finance and insurance segment. Insurance coverage often ends at retirement, and so certain companies, such as BUPA, are particularly looking into modifying current necessities to provide for older people. One of our main focuses will be to look at how Mexico can share knowledge with the UK. A commission will visit the UK to investigate key areas of interest regularly.

Q: Is the global spotlight on Mexico rapidly changing its business environment?

A: Mexico has always followed international business regulations in terms of its organization but it has historically taken more of a back seat. With Mexico now occupying an increasingly more prominent position on the global economic stage, it can no longer take its time implementing new international practices. Global offices of international companies in emerging markets need to comply with new regulations at the same time as offices in more established markets.