Join us as we welcome Julia Longbottom CMG, His Majesty's Ambassador to Japan and Colin Crooks LVO, His Majesty's Ambassador to South Korea on Friday 16th June from 15:50-16:50 BST.
In the wake of COVID and the impacts of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, real GDP growth is projected at 1.8% in 2023 and 0.9% in 2024. Whilst domestic demand is recovering slowly but steadily, external demand has been volatile. Supply chain disruptions have held back production, investment and exports.
Securing and reallocating employment, global supply chains and energy sources are high priorities both in the short and longer term. Continuing “work-style” reforms, enhancing vocational training and education, lowering barriers to foreign workers and foreign direct investment as well as progress with the digital and green transformation are all key to sustained recovery.
Julia Longbottom CMG is the current Ambassador to Japan, having been appointed in March 2021. She is the first woman ambassador to represent the United Kingdom in Tokyo.
She joined the Diplomatic Service in 1986. She then spent her first two years on placements at the United Nations in New York and the European Commission in Brussels. Between 1990 and 1993, she spent her first period in Tokyo as the Political Second Secretary at the British Embassy to Japan. In 1994, she moved to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Hong Kong Department and worked as the Section Head for Nationality and Immigration until the handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997. She was then appointed as the Head of Political and EU Section at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in the Hague
In 2012, Longbottom returned to Tokyo where she served as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Tokyo until summer 2016. She then returned to the UK as the FCO's Director for Consular Services, along with a brief period serving as the director of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's Coronavirus Task Force.
The Republic of Korea has achieved remarkable success in combining rapid economic growth with significant poverty reduction. The government of Korea’s policies resulted in real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 5.45% annually between 1988 and 2019. This robust performance was fuelled by annual export growth averaging 9.27% in the same period.
Sound health management and supportive policies helped Korea emerge swiftly from the pandemic. The recovery is set to continue as pandemic-era restrictions on contact-intensive services are shelved, despite the Russia-Ukraine war raising inflation and highlighting the need to increase supply chain resilience. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels can boost resilience, but is also necessary to reach ambitious climate targets. Fiscal policy support will need to be scaled back and should focus on supporting people and business dynamism rather than firm survival.
Korea offers development experience that inspires many developing countries in sustainable development, provision of infrastructure and better services to improve the lives of the people, and transition to a dynamic knowledge economy.
Colin James Crooks LVO became His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea on 17 February 2022.
Before this, he was Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 2018 to 2021.
Crooks joined FCO in 1992 as a Desk Officer in the Latin America Department. Some of his previous diplomatic appointments include Minister Counsellor in Beijing (2015 to 2018), Deputy Head of Mission to Jakarta (2011 to 2015), Chargé d’Affaires, Pyongyang (2008), First Secretary in Washington (2002 to 2006) and First Secretary in Seoul (1995 to 1999).