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Carlos Slim's Medical Maquiladoras

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  • Steven L. Robinson
    ... From: To: Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2008 9:01 AM Subject: FNS News: Carlos Slim s Medical Maquiladoras March 4,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4 9:51 PM
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <fnsnews@...>
      To: <fns_nmsu-l@...>
      Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2008 9:01 AM
      Subject: FNS News: Carlos Slim's Medical Maquiladoras

      March 4, 2008

      Health News

      Carlos Slim's Medical Maquiladoras

      Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is moving ahead with his plans to open
      hospitals in Mexico that cater to US baby boomers. Slim's business concept
      might be compared to a maquiladora export factory. A raw product, in this
      case an ailing US citizen, is imported into Mexico, "put together" and then
      re-exported back to the home country. Ironically, Slim's fortune, now
      estimated to be larger than Bill Gates', derives in part from the tycoon's
      Marlboro cigarette business in Mexico.

      In partnership with Grupo Star Medica, Slim's Ideal company intends to open
      new medical centers in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, and in Los Cabos on the Baja
      Peninsula. A national hospital chain, Grupo Star Medica is a fast-growing
      business with expansion plans in Ciudad Juarez and additional Mexican
      cities. In 2007, Ideal purchased 49 percent of Grupo Star Medica's stock.
      Specializing in construction and development, Ideal has agreed to help Grupo
      Star Medica with infrastructure, acquisition and financing.

      With its planned medical centers in Puerto Penasco and Los Cabos, Grupo Star
      Medica plans to tap into a new market segment of US baby boomers who are
      buying second homes in Mexico. Reportedly, sales of vacation homes in Los
      Cabos and Puerto Penasco increased 30 percent and 45 percent, respectively,
      during the last three years.

      Claudia Velazquez, an analyst for the Softec real estate market analysis
      firm, said the relative lack of medical services in beach resorts attractive
      to US vacationers and expatriates is opening up business opportunities for
      companies like Grupo Star Medica.

      "(Baby boomers) are also choosing Mexico because its health system is much
      cheaper than in the United States," Velazquez said.

      Besides Slim, other Mexico-based entrepreneurs are seriously looking at the
      growing population of US baby boomers who need health care services. Their
      plan is to get US private insurance companies to pay for medical treatment
      in Mexico.

      "For a US insurance policy to pay for medical treatment, the treatment has
      to comply with certain quality control standards, and we are going to
      participate with products to serve this niche," said Jaime Jimenez, general
      director for Mexico Trane, another company on the same path as Slim. Of
      course, it remains to be seen if the expansion of medical services in Mexico
      to US residents will help lower private insurance premiums in this country.

      Sources: Tribuna de la Bahia/Agencia Reforma, February 26, 2008. Article by
      Karla Ramirez. Biznews.com.mx, July 9, 2007. Ideal.com.mx.

      Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news Center for Latin
      American and Border Studies New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New

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