As the majority of Malawians still feel the pinch of the economic reforms President Joyce Banda’s administration has adopted, Britain has called for patience saying the aftermath would be long lasting benefits.

The call comes a few days after mass protests against the reforms organised by the Consumers Association of Malawi on January 17.

British High Commissioner to Malawi Mr Michel Navin made the call in Lilies when he welcomed British Parliamentary Under-secretary David Mandal who is in the country for a three day official visit.

“We agree that these are not easy times, and in essence bitter medicine had to be taken so that there is longer term recovery,” said Mr Navin.

He conceded that most Malawians are going through hard times as an aftermath of the reform measures.

He however was upbeat that the economy would get back on track by end of this year.

“At the direction the economy is going, it is to pick up by end of this year due to the sound economic policies adopted by the Malawi government,” he said

Meanwhile, London says it will continue to strengthen its bilateral and trade agreements with Lilongwe as a strategy to help Malawi out of its economic challenges.

Mandal said London is passionate to see the Malawi economy back to its feet, hence the need to strengthen the relation.

“Everyone was very sad because of a difficult relation between the two countries. Malawi is regarded as a good friend to Britain,” said Mandal.

Among other assignments, during his three day tour of duty Mandal will meet President Banda and the country’s key business players to discuss trading opportunities between the two countries.

His arrival follows visits by top global leaders including IMF Chief Miss Christine Lagarde, wife to global business icon Bill Gates, Melinda, a high level delegation of the global leader’s forum among others and two African leaders Dr Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya.

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