Lamy will check out Wan Chai and talk strategy with conference chief In the middle of intensive negotiations in the Geneva headquarters, the WTO chief is flying to Hong Kong for a weekend visit to show that he is 'open to dialogue' with members of civil society. Since taking the helm of the global trade body last month, Frenchman Pascal Lamy, a former European Union trade negotiator, has started a countdown to Hong Kong and made a successful WTO ministerial conference in the city in December his top priority. 'We're in a better shape than we were last week, but I also hope we'll be in a better shape next week than we are this week,' Mr Lamy told the South China Morning Post. 'I have promised local non-governmental organisations, which want to raise their level of participation in the Hong Kong conference, to engage in a dialogue with them together with NGOs worldwide before the conference itself. 'This shows that the WTO as an organisation, and we at the secretariat, are open to dialogue with people who sincerely intend to try to influence the results of the conference by peaceful and democratic means.' Another mission of Mr Lamy's brief visit is to meet John Tsang Chun-wah, the Hong Kong trade chief and chair of the conference, and have an in-depth discussion with him on the strategy in chairing the WTO meeting. Mr Lamy will also visit the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, venue of the WTO ministerial conference, because, he said 'I have a habit of checking a few things by myself'. He will deliver a speech at the Foreign Correspondents' Club before flying back to Geneva on Sunday night.