Ms Melanie Barlow has been appointed His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in succession to Mr John Pearson who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Ms Barlow will take up her appointment during August 2023.
Full name: Melanie Barlow
Spouse: Mark Goodrich
|2022 to 2023||Kathmandu, Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General|
|2019 to 2022||FCDO, Deputy Head, Consular Strategy and Network Department|
|2018 to 2019||FCO, Lead Trade Negotiator, Third Country Agreements Unit|
|2018||UK Government Illegal Wildlife Trade Joint Unit, Senior Manager, Private Sector Engagement|
|2015 to 2018||Seoul, Trade Policy and Economic Diplomacy Counsellor|
|2013 to 2015||FCO, Head, India and Nepal Team, South Asia Department|
|2013||FCO, Head, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives Team, South Asia Department|
|2011 to 2012||FCO, Team Leader and Programme Manager, Conflict Department|
|2009 to 2011||Tokyo, Second Secretary (Trade)|
|2006 to 2008||Tokyo, Second Secretary (Political)|
|2004 to 2005||Japanese language training|
|2003||FCO, Project Manager, Department for Strategy and Innovation|
|2003||FCO, Desk Officer, Iraq Political Team|
|2002 to 2003||Trade Partners UK, Special Projects Manager Japan and China|
History of UK-Lao Relations
The history of British relations with Laos has been relatively limited compared to other Southeast Asian countries. Laos, a landlocked country in the heart of Indochina, was once part of French Indochina and gained full independence only in 1954. The United Kingdom first established diplomatic relations with Laos in 1955.
During the Cold War, Laos became embroiled in regional conflicts and suffered from American bombing campaigns. In response to these events, Britain provided humanitarian aid to Laos through various organizations such as Oxfam and Save the Children.
Britain also supported the peace process in Laos by providing funding for demining operations and supporting disarmament initiatives.
In recent years, trade between the UK and Laos has increased steadily. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation in 2010 which aims to boost trade and investment between them.
Sources: THX News & Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.