CONSULTANT, Market Entry Study


Mekong Institute (MI) is seeking the services of a consultant to conduct a market entry study in the Republic of Korea, develop a training curriculum, and deliver training sessions on access to the Korean market from September 21, 2020 to October 31, 2020.

The activities are under the “Market Access Through E-Commerce Promotion for Women-Led SMEs” project. Supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the three-year project aims to increase employment opportunities and income through the (a) development and expansion of exports by women-led enterprises by enhancing quality, quantity, and relevance of business development services as provided by trade promotion organizations and (b) enhanced capacities of women-led SMEs to identify and integrate into the global markets for their products through utilizing e-commerce platforms.

Through market linkages via e-commerce, women-led SMEs will be equipped to be more competitive exporters and are expected to increase their income, expand their workforce (leading to rise in income) and, contribute to economic growth and development.


In this regard, MI is seeking the services of a consultant to assist the project team at MI (“MI team”) in

  • Conducting a market entry study in Korea to identify potential markets for SME products from Mekong countries
  • Using inputs from the study to design a training curriculum on access to the Korean market
  • Delivering training sessions on access to the Korean market


A. The market entry study will contain the following:

i. Analysis of ways of and recommendations on promotion of export of specified products of women-led SMEs of the Mekong countries to Republic of Korea through digital media.

ii. Present the business case for such exports as well as a market entry strategy for the Korean market. A market entry strategy is an informed and planned method of delivering goods to a new target market and distributing them there.

iii. Explore the challenges and market opportunities for SME products from the Mekong countries in Republic of Korea including

  • An overview of product sectors in Korea (e.g., share in GDP and consumption, growth rate, trends in exports and imports), competitive advantage (e.g. comparative advantage analysis, value chains), key actors (e.g. companies, countries from which imports take place, government agencies), and main importers-distributors.
  • Market access requirements in terms of tariffs and rules of origin including for ASEAN-Korea FTA, Korea-Vietnam FTA, standards, packaging, labelling and regulations, testing and certification, and other compliance requirements, relevant regulatory agencies.
  • Study of consumer trends, tastes and preferences, and niche markets; branding, marketing, distribution and retail trends.
  • E-commerce environment for the specified products (e.g., key actors, platforms, services and price, regulations, other general and specific non-tariff requirements, trends, opportunities, among others).
  • Specific initiatives or provisions, including financing mechanisms for SMEs and enterprises from Mekong countries and/or ASEAN countries.

B. Modular Training Program on “Entrepreneurship Development Through E-Commerce Promotion”

The modular training program on “Entrepreneurship Development Through E-Commerce Promotion” will be conducted for two weeks in October 2020 for 20 participants representing the Mekong countries via a suitable digital platform. The modules of the training program will include:

  • Module1: Entrepreneurship and small businesses (including importance of studying the business environment and scanning opportunities for export business)
  • Module 2: Introduction to e-commerce; advantages of e-commerce vis-à-vis traditional commerce (online platforms, social media for business, COVID-19 implications etc)
  • Module 3: Practical insights on certain aspects of e-commerce (business models and forms such as B2B, B2C, C2C and B2G); website strategies; logistics (internet basics, supply chain, warehouse and customer management, digital marketing and shipping); aftersales (returns and dispute settlement); quality standards and regulations; payment systems (credit card, digital, and mobile wallets); digital security
  • Module 4: Market Access in Korea (e.g., tariffs and regulations, product standards, certification, labelling, PTA/FTA arrangements, market opportunities for the specific products, market segments, e-commerce regulations and platforms, key agencies, import requirements, key distributors, COVID-19 regulatory requirements for import of products, compliance, among others)
  • Module 5: Step-by-step guide on how to use e-commerce platforms and to set up e-stores
  • Module 6: Export Market Plan Preparation (by the training participants)
  • Module 7: Action Plans (to be implemented by training participants following the two-week training course)


A. Outputs

  • A study report that will identify and present business and product sectors, as well as market demands
  • Completed training curriculum on access to the Korean market
  • Completed delivery of training sessions on access to the Korean market

B. Expected Outcomes

  • Improved export market information for women-led SMEs
  • Enhanced capacity of women-led SMEs to expand their businesses through e-commerce and expanded market access for products of women-led SMEs, as well as better quality of services of trade promotion agencies


  • An inception report containing the findings of the desk review, as well as secondary information types and sources
  • Questionnaires/lists of questions for KIIs
  • Conduct of online KIIs
  • A draft study report, which includes findings from secondary sources of information, KIIs, and the desk review
  • Training curriculum on “Entrepreneurship Development Through E-Commerce Promotion”
  • Delivery of online training sessions on “Access to Korean Market for SME products”
  • Final study report after incorporating comments from the MI Team


  • Advanced university degree in economics, law, international trade, management, or any other related field
  • Prior experience in carrying out research and consultancy work related to business and market development in Republic of Korea, and/or SMEs, women entrepreneurship and/or e-commerce in the Mekong countries, ASEAN or Republic of Korea
  • Excellent English speaking, writing, reporting, and presentation skills
  • Published work in business and market development and strategy, SMEs, women entrepreneurship and/or e-commerce is an asset


The consultancy fee totals USD 10,000 (TEN THOUSAND US DOLLARS). This covers (a) USD 6,000 for the completion of the Market Entry Study and (b) USD 4,000 for the development of the training curriculum and delivery of online training sessions.

Payment will be released in the following tranches:




Submission of the inception report by September 30, 2020


Submission of the draft study report by October 10, 2020


Submission of the final training curriculum, completion of delivery of training sessions and submission of final study report by October 30, 2020

MI shall not be responsible for any further expenses incurred by the consultant during the consultancy and for any losses and/or damages caused to consultant. All payments will be made by bank transfer in the name of the consultant as specified in the terms of reference/contract.


Interested applicants must submit his/her (a) CV of maximum four pages and (b) expression of interest, detailing an understanding of the consultancy assignment and the proposed methodology as stated in Sections 3.1 and 3.2 no later than September 21, 2020 to [email protected] and [email protected]

For more information, please download the Terms of Reference.


For queries regarding the assigned consultancy service, please contact:

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta

Director, Trade and Investment Facilitation Department

Tel: (+66) 43 202 411, ext. 2101

Fax: Fax: (+66) 43 343 131

Email: [email protected]

Ms. Vitchaya Panurak

Human Resource Officer

Finance and Administration Department

Tel: +66 (0) 43 202 411-2, ext. 6201

Fax: (+66) 43 343 131

Email: [email protected]