Dr. Thomas ORLIAC

Independant Consultant

Thomas is a French and Canadian citizen.
He has lived in Montreal, QC (Canada) since 2013.

Thomas has a PhD in economics and a Master in International Relations from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po). He also has a Master in Applied Economics from the University Paris IX Dauphine. He has worked on economics and trade facilitation issues, including transport, for high-level institutions such as the OECD and the French Directorate General of Customs and Indirect Taxes (DGDDI), then consulting companies such as Nathan Associates, Deloitte Consulting, IMC Worldwide Ltd or Canadian Pacific Consulting Services (CPCS) in Europe, North America and West Africa.

He has experience both in the public and private sector in project management – including developing countries, and competencies in process optimization, international trade, customs, maritime transport and ports, feasibility studies, change management and performance monitoring. He has a good understanding of international trade and transport regulations, competitiveness and macroeconomic issues. He demonstrated good communication and presentation skills by participating to numerous top level conferences, seminars, training and successful awareness actions for different audiences. Last but not least, he established productive relationships with senior government officials and the business community.

His professional experience improved his talent for understanding complex issues, gathering information, manage large database, providing policy briefs, giving clear presentation and reports. He is resourceful with creative aptitudes and a computer-literate performer with extensive software proficiency including Customs ICT. In addition, high-level institutions provide him time management abilities, a high level of requirements and responsibility, and diplomacy to deal with high-level representatives. He is used to working in a multicultural environment and he shares a high-quality research network across various international institutions.

Economist and trade facilitation expert

Trade Facilitation expert at Deloitte and Nathan, he managed technical assistance projects for West African Customs and ports. Thus, he developed a pilot Authorized Economic Operator program in Senegal and in Ghana - including a Mutual Recognition Agreement with Ivory Coast, new management and monitoring tools, inquiry points, a master development plan of the port of Pointe Noire, and enhanced the risk management policy and the information processing cycle of the Ivorian Intelligence Bureau. He conducted diagnostic reviews, established action plan and ensured the implementation of each project following international best practices. He put in place new performance monitoring systems with local Customs by linking various dimensions such as risk management, human resources, revenue and trade facilitation policy. He developed AEO regulatory and technical frameworks. He supported the top management on communication and change management strategy, managed training sessions for Customs officers and awareness actions with all stakeholders.

Trade Facilitation manager for French Customs, he provided recommendations to reduce supply chain delays and trade costs, and increase trade facilitation policy impact. He created new performance indicators, revised the container tracking management system, developed a dedicated Time Release Study and supported partnerships with key players. He also participated to the Customs change management policy and various Committee, and promoted French performance. France became the second economy making the greatest progress toward the frontier of the best performer in trading across borders according to the World Bank (Doing Business 2013), and its ranking improved from 24 in 2012 to the 1st rank in 2015.

Trade Policy Analyst at the OECD, he explored cross-border issues and best practices, international trade regulations and trade facilitation policy impacts on trade costs. He studied the WTO Trade Facilitation agreement and built a composite indicator measuring the degree of trade facilitation policy implementation across each dimension of the WTO agreement.

Transport Economist at CPCS, he provided his expertise on economic, transport and customs projects, through opportunity and feasibility studies, socio-economic impact analysis, business plans, and strategic planning especially for ports and public authorities.

Professional Experience

01/2017 -Present : Independant Consultant
Nathan Associates, USAID LPFM II - Implementing the Côte d’Ivoire Enquiry Points
Nathan Associates, USAID LPFM II - Implementing an AEO program
IMC Worldwide, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office - Provision of Strategic and Economic Case for Trade Facilitation and Border Management

05/2015 - 06/2016 : Transport Economist, Head of the regional Office (Quebec)
Canadian Pacific Consulting Services (CPCS) (Montreal, QC)

10/2014 - 05/2015 : Manager/Consultant - Performance and Risk Management Expert
Deloitte (Paris), World Bank - Improving Customs Performance (Ivory Coast)
Deloitte (Paris), World Bank - Development of the Port of Pointe Noire (Congo)

09/2014 : Stata Developer (regressions, gravity models and database)
Private Consultation

03/2014 - 07/2014 : Consultant - Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) expert
Deloitte (Paris), World Bank - Implementing a pilot AEO program (Ghana)

2012 - 2013 : Trade Facilitation Manager - Chargé de Mission
Direction Générale des Douanes et Droits Indirects

2006 - 2012 : Researcher (PhD)
Sciences-Po Paris

2007 - 2010 : Trade Policy Analyst
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

2006 - 2009 : Teacher (Master and Bachelor)
Sciences-Po Paris
University Paris I Panthéon - La Sorbonne

2007 : Consulting
Centre Coréen du Commerce Extérieur et de l'Investissement (KOTRA)



United Kingdom: Provision of Strategic and Economic Case for Trade Facilitation and Border Management – IMC Worldwide, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office

To be completed

  • Led the strategic case to explain why the GTP should invest resources in trade facilitation interventions in the programme countries
  • Identified current needs related the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) implementation
  • Mapped donors trade facilitation related activities
  • Reviewed TFA implementation risks and costs
  • Assessed trade facilitation developments and potential impacts on trade, growth, poverty and gender inequality.

[ongoing mission]

Ivory Coast: AEO Audit training – Nathan Associates, USAID-Funded

Thomas led several AEO audit training aiming to put in place the appropriate managing structure and performance tools. He explained the program to all stakeholders.

Ivory Coast: Implementing the Côte d’Ivoire Enquiry Points – Nathan Associates, USAID-Funded

The USAID, through the LPFM II, supported the implementation of the WTO agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) in Cote d’Ivoire. The first priority identified by the Ivoirian National Trade Facilitation Committee was Art. 1.3 – Enquiry Points.

Thomas led a capacity building discussion on the purpose, roles and responsibilities of an enquiry point. He conducted a diagnostic review of the way information is spread and assessed the existing options in Cote d’Ivoire. He discussed the best TFA Enquiry Point structure, regarding the current issues in Ivory Coast, that would meet the basic requirements to establish an enquiry point to answer queries from governments, traders, and other interested parties related to the exportation, importation, or transit of goods. Then, he supported the development of a national implementation framework, guidelines and training sessions for enquiry point staff and associated stakeholders.

Senegal: Implementing an Authorized Economic Operator program, based on the current Senegalese Programme de Partenaires Privilégiés (PPP) – Nathan Associates, USAID-Funded

Thomas assessed the current AEO program (the PPP) launched in 2011 by Senegalese Customs and made several recommendations to improve the program, following best practices in this area and the WTO Trade Facilitation agreement requirements. He developed a working plan, an implementation strategy, managerial and technical structures, established the AEO application process and regulatory framework. He ensured a close cooperation with all stakeholders, including the private sectors, and training missions.

Canada: Support CPCS’s North American Division as Transport Economist - CPCS  

Thomas developed CPCS’s business in Quebec and managed various economic and transport-related projects in Canada. He contributed to deliverables by conducting economic and financial analysis, building action plan, writing reports and by ensuring a follow-up with the clients.

He conducted opportunity and feasibility studies, socio-economic impact analysis, business plans and strategic planning for various clients in Canada. The main projects were dedicated to the ports of Montreal and Quebec which were both looking for developing new trade maritime routes, container lines and infrastructure, taking advantage of US bottlenecks, new technological changes and the upcoming Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). He also worked for the government on a multimodal platform near Montreal. This new infrastructure aims to attract trade flows by providing value added services and improving efficiency – including transport, customs, manufacturing, distribution centre and business activities under the same roof. 

He participated to conferences on transport and Customs issues as a panellist, and made several presentations to the client.

France: Ensure France’s attractiveness and Customs compliance – French Directorate General of Customs and Indirect Taxes

Thomas worked with the Deputy General Director and the Internal Audit and Management Control Unit. As the trade facilitation manager, he reviewed the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole French supply chain – including ports – by making Business Process Models of the Cargo Community Systems, analysing the data pipeline shared by all actors of the supply chain and Border authorities, monitoring Customs and ports performance. He provided recommendations to reduce trade costs, delays and burden procedures, then initiated awareness actions and partnerships with all stakeholders to improve coordination, including international institutions, administrations, universities and school of logistics, and the top-level representatives of the industry. He also put in place an international conference on port performance at Le Havre.

He promoted French Customs, supported the new strategic project, advised all deputy directors on trade facilitation and communication issues, with a close cross-directorate cooperation. He participated to the committee of Business Intelligence, the Task Force Security and the Customs journal. He also put in place new performance indicators by going beyond delays to measure reliability, predictability and causality links.

After his mission, France ranking on WB Doing Business trading across the border increased significantly towards the best performers. Its ranking improved from 24 in 2012 to the 1st rank in 2015.

France: Measurement of Trade Facilitation Policy impact – OECD

Trade policy analyst at the OECD in the trade and services directorate, Thomas created new performance indicators for benchmarking trade facilitation policy and evaluated the impact of cross-border issues on trade flows and trade costs for OECD countries. He created the Trade Facilitation Index (TFI) which is now one of the international standards on trade facilitation indicators. These studies were useful in the negotiation of the recent WTO Trade Facilitation agreement. He also made a meta-evaluation of the way aid agencies evaluate and assess their trade-related operations through the Aid for Trade initiative.

This research deepened his understanding of key competitiveness indicators methodologies, huge database management, Stata programming, international trade regulations – especially the WTO trade facilitation agreement, and trade facilitation policy implementation best practices. He also learned to work with diplomacy with different agencies and administrations from various countries.  

Ivory Coast: Ivorian Customs Performance, Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (ALTTFP) – Deloitte Consulting, World Bank-Funded

As the trade facilitation and performance expert, Thomas conducted a diagnostic review of Customs and Abidjan’s port processes and governance, and provided an action plan in order to improve Ivorian trading across borders performance, through Customs efficiency and effectiveness.

Thus, he managed a business process analysis and he put in place new performance monitoring systems with local Customs by linking various dimensions such as risk management, human resources, revenue and trade facilitation policy. He also managed training sessions with Customs Officers, providing technical assistance and materials related to the new performance tools put in place and best practices. He adjusted the IT system accordingly and upgraded the Human Resource Management System.

He participated to steering Committee presentations with high-level institutional, political and economic representatives. He supported the implementation of the new policy by providing a communication plan (internal/external) and a change management strategy.

Ivory Coast: Risk Management, Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (ALTTFP) – Deloitte Consulting, World Bank-Funded

As the senior Customs expert, Thomas managed a mission to develop the Customs intelligence Bureau and enhance the information processing cycle within Customs, following the new trade facilitation policy introduced previously.

He first made a diagnostic review of Customs risk management services. Then he developed a regulatory framework mapping the Intelligence Services, and worked-out IT specifications for Customs Performance and Risk Analysis. He supported Customs management on strategic view and recommended a practical approach for improving its implementation. He suggested training sessions and partnerships with similar agencies from neighbourhood countries and main players.

Ghana: Authorized Economic Operators pilot initiative – Deloitte Consulting, World Bank-Funded

Thomas designed and implemented a pilot Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program in Ghana and a AEO Mutual Recognition Agreement with Ivory Coast. He developed the AEO managerial and technical structures (Accreditation Committee, AEO Secretariat, Audit team) and established the AEO application process (Self-Assessment Questionnaire, Application form, Timeline, Eligibility criteria, Benefits granted by the status) and guidelines. He managed workshops with involved stakeholders and conducted needs assessment surveys. He also supported the selection of pilot companies for the AEO program by participating to the audit sessions. He also evaluated the application of information technology by the port authority, customs, shipping agents, customs brokers and other stakeholders, assessed their challenges and constrains to apply the new requirements and facilitation policy. He participated to steering Committee presentations with high-level institutional, supported the change management policy and advised on the IT specifications and the risk management framework.

Congo: Port and Customs Performance – Deloitte Consulting, EU-Funded

Thomas conducted diagnostic reviews of the port’s efficiency of Pointe Noire and Customs procedures. He developed the requirements for running a Time Release Study adapted to the port. He identified key issues and bottlenecks along the import/export process. He provided inputs for a master development plan and a communication plan. He established action cards following successive key steps to improve the port attractiveness and the import/export process, reviewing port management and creating a trade facilitation Committee, simplifying cross-administration cooperation, redefining manuals and procedures, or even monitoring tools. He promoted the new strategy to all stakeholders including private sectors and managed awareness actions.  

France: Trade Facilitation Research – Sciences-Po Paris, PhD Thesis

Thomas has a PhD in economics from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po). His thesis evaluated the impact of different dimensions of trade facilitation policy on trade costs. Thus, he conducted research on international trade regulations and trade costs, focusing on border issues - including transport. He worked with top researchers in his field from various universities and international organizations.

He also gave lectures in international trade, fundamental economic theory or even national accountability for Master students at the University of Paris I – Pantheon La Sorbonne and Sciences-Po Paris.


Skills // Under contruction

Je travaille sur les problématiques de facilitation des échanges et de commerce international depuis plusieurs années, que ce soit au niveau académique avec la rédaction de ma Thèse de de Doctorat en économie portant sur la mesure de la facilitation des échanges (soutenue le 1er février 2012) et à travers mon expérience professionnelle acquise à l’Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques (OCDE), la Direction Générale des Douanes (DGDDI) ou encore le cabinet de conseil Deloitte.

A l'OCDE, j’ai pu développer des compétences techniques notamment dans la constitution d’indicateurs de perforamnce mesurant les politiques de facilitation des échanges pour les pays membre de l’OCDE et dans la maitrise d’outils statistiques spécialisés, tout en étant au plus près de ce qu’il se fait de mieux dans la recherche. J’ai également été amené à étudier les différents classements internationaux en la matière afin d’en dégager les limites et conditions d’utilisation (Doing Business, Logistics Performance Index, The World Economic Forum). Ma thèse aborde également la question de la mesure de la facilitation des échanges - de l’efficience douanière et des opérateurs privés - au niveau européen, proposant des pistes de réflexion. Mon travail à l’OCDE m’a également permis de connaitre de nombreux acteurs de référence officiant dans de multiples institutions à travers le monde et de disposer d'un bon réseau de contacts (Banque Mondiale, Nations Unies, Organisation Mondiale des Douanes).

Mon expérience à la Direction Générale des Douanes et Droits Indirects (DGDDI) a approfondi ma connaissance pratique de la réglementation douanière française, des tenants et aboutissants des nouvelles stratégies douanières européenne et mondiale, et j'ai pu profiter de l'expertise de cette administration en matière de mesure de la performance. Mettant en application ma connaissance des problématiques de facilitation des échanges et mon esprit d'analyse, j'ai travaillé à l'amélioration de l'image de la France, à la stratégie de la douane et l'attractivité des plateformes portuaires françaises. Ce travail a contribué à replacer la douane française parmi les plus performantes au monde, selon Doing Business.

Depuis l’OCDE à la DGDDI, en passant par mon expérience auprès du Ministère de Affaires Etrangères ou du Centre Coréen du Commerce Extérieur et de l'Investissement, mon parcours professionnel m’a permis de travailler à un haut niveau de responsabilité et de savoir composer avec des instances prestigieuses à haut niveau d’exigence. Ces expériences, ainsi que les enseignements que j’ai pu dispenser à la Sorbonne et à Sciences-Po, ont parfaitement complété ma formation universitaire en me permettant de développer mes qualités rédactionnelles, mon aisance à s’exprimer en public et à faire passer un message.

Mes capacités d'analyse, ma créativité, mon adaptabilité à des situations variées, ma réactivité et ma connaissance des partenariats publics/privés sont autant de qualités qui se sont approfondit à travers ma collaboration avec Deloitte Consulting et les missions d'expertise que j'ai menées en Afrique, en 2014 et 2015. J'ai aussi pu améliorer ma gestion de projet et d'équipe. Je continue à développer ces qualités chez CPCS, au Canada, avec une emphase sur le secteur des transports, particulièrement les ports. Je suis également en charge du développement des affaires au Québec et de notre bureau régional à Montréal, QC.


  • Développement des affaires
  • Analyse Economique : Facilitation des échanges, Commerce International, transport maritime
  • Analyse Stratégique : Gestion de projets, Conseil & Recommandations, Etude d'impact
  • Problématiques douanières : réglementation, coûts, délais, prévisibilité, technologies
  • Construction de tableaux de bord : Indicateurs de performance, évaluation
  • Relations internationales
  • Gestion d'équipe, Travail en équipe et/ou autonome (initiatives)
  • Pédagogie : Facilité à transmettre un message

Technical Skills

Analyse de données / Modélisation : Stata 13, Eviews 7, SPSS, Excel, Python
Rédaction / Présentation : LateX, Microsoft Office (toutes distributions), Open Office
Travail collaboratif : SharePoint, Deltek Vision (ERP), Skype, GoToMeeting...
Design / Web : Suite Adobe CS6


French (mother tongue),
English (compétence professionnelle),
Allemand (notions),
Chinois (notions)


Sciences-Po Paris

PhD in Economics
The Economics of Trade Facilitation (download pdf, 10 Mo)
Direction : Pr. Patrick Messerlin, Présidence du Jury : Pr. Thierry Mayer

Master in International Relations
Major in International Trade

University Paris I, Panthéon - La Sorbonne

Research Master in Macroeconomics

University Paris IX, Dauphine

Bachelor in Applied Economics
Maîtrise d'Economie Appliquée
Licence d'Economie Appliquée

University Bretagne Sud (Vannes)

DEUG en Economie et Gestion


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