Despite the rough market conditions in the mining sector last year, the president of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)is "cautiously optimistic" that the worst is over, and expects to see an increasing Chinese presence on Canada's largest stock exchange. Kevin Cowan joined nearly a dozen Chinese mining delegates to open the market on Friday. With 45 Chinese companies listed between the TSX and TSX Venture Exchange, Cowan said Chinese companies have become increasingly prominent in Toronto. "It's been a very important part of our stock list and a very important part as we grow our international listings," he said, and revealed he expects to see more Chinese companies listed on the TSX in the future. "I was in China in January and we were seeing lots of mining companies that were looking to come and list in North American markets and very interested in the TSX," he said, "And Venture is the world's premier resources exchange, so we are quite optimistic we're going to see more business generally in a firming up of the market." After a year that saw China's economy slow down and a drop in commodity prices, Cowan, like many others, believes the worst is over. "Some of the commodities company for sure are having a bit more of a challenge," he said. "But I think most importantly, the first part of this year, we've been much more optimistic. We seem to have gotten off to a firmer footing. We've seen finances up a bit and we've seen trading volumes up a little bit, so we're cautiously optimistic." Fang Li, the Chinese consul-general in Toronto, also joined the market opening, and offered his support to the increasing number of Chinese companies looking to list on the TSX. "Last year with the CNOOC-Nexen deal listed here, it increased our Chinese enterprise's gold content. It shows the growing economic and trading relationships between our two countries," he said. "The Chinese consulate is fully in support of Chinese companies and is coordinating its efforts."