A 32-member business delegation from Rotterdam headed by new mayor Ivo Opstelten is to visit Hong Kong for three days from Sunday. The delegation, with members representing banking, trade, insurance and logistics, aims to strengthen relations with existing business partners in Hong Kong and to find new partners. 'With the evident economic recovery in Asian countries, now is the time for business in Rotterdam and Hong Kong to get together and explore possibilities for boosting mutual commercial relations between our two very international cities,' Mr Opstelten. The delegation will attend a seminar organised by the General Chamber of Commerce on trade possibilities with Rotterdam and the influence of the euro, followed by a meeting with the Hong Kong business community at a dinner hosted by Mr Opstelten. After Hong Kong, the delegation will travel to Shanghai, which has had a sister-city relationship with Rotterdam for 20 years. Between 1993 and 1998, container throughput between Hong Kong and the mainland and Europe via Rotterdam rose 80 per cent, an average rise of 13 per cent per year. Mr Opstelten said this growth trend was expected to continue. Rotterdam's main terminal operator, Europe Combined Terminals (ECT), opened a new container terminal at the Rhine river port of Duisburg in August. The terminal is a joint venture between ECT and the Port Authority of Duisburg.