Mexico’s Big Hope

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hear Andres Oppenheimer speak at a real estate conference in Mexico City. He stressed that Mexico’s has a very big opportunity to develop a new industry for the country by focusing on medical tourism. At the time the debate on healthcare in the US was just about to get underway. He said that Mexico’s was patiently waiting to hear the outcome of this debate and vote, before moving ahead with a comprehensive program to attract those Americans in need of healthcare to Mexico, at a better price than they can get back home.

Over at the La Punta Realty blog, there’s a post of a column/article recently written by Mr. Oppenheimer. It seems that Mexico now feels ready to move ahead with some form of initiative.

Mexico is silently working on proposals aimed at drawing millions of U.S. retirees to this country, which could eventually lead to the most ambitious U.S.-Mexican project since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

President Felipe Calderón is likely to propose the first steps toward expanding U.S. retirement benefits and medical tourism to Mexico when he goes to Washington on an official visit May 19, according to well-placed officials here. If not then, he will raise the issue later this year, they say.

“It’s one of the pillars of our plans to trigger economic and social well-being in both countries,” Mexico’s ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan told me. “We will be seeking to increasingly discuss this issue in coming months and years.”

Calderón brought it up during a U.S.-Canada-Mexico summit in Guadalajara in August last year, but President Barack Obama asked him to shelve the idea until he was able to pass healthcare reform, another official told me.

Now that Congress has passed healthcare reform, Calderón is preparing to charge ahead.

Check out the complete article here.

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