Hong Kong's biggest movie and music stars helped a rising political star launch the city's first Entertainment Expo last night. Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung Man-yuk, Chow Yun-fat and Jackie Chan were in the line-up at the Convention and Exhibition Centre as acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen declared the 16-day event open. Celebrities in suits and revealing evening gowns began arriving on the red carpet at 6.30pm to show their support for the event, which is expected to attract more than 2,000 international entertainment heavyweights. Mr Tsang pledged the government's support for the entertainment industry, saying it would continue to 'build a favourable environment' for the industry and protect intellectual property rights. He said the film industry generated $1.4 billion a year, while the broadcasting sector generated $3.7 billion. In 2003, exports of audio-visual products reached $1 billion, while sales of digital entertainment are expected to hit $5 billion a year. The opening ceremony included a video of a century of Hong Kong cinema and a sneak preview of nine major Hong Kong films. The expo includes the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Filmart, Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum and IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Awards. Film traders and stars last night welcomed the government's effort in organising the expo to bring more investors and buyers to the city, but said there was still a lot to be done to revive the industry. John Chong Ching, executive director of the Media Asia Entertainment Group, said the Expo had brought Hong Kong to the world's attention. He expected the number of overseas clients visiting to double as a result. Terry Ng Sze-yuen, president of the Federation of Hong Kong Film Workers, hoped that Mr Tsang would continue former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa's support for the film industry, and urged the government to set up a film commission. Chow hoped the government could sit down with leaders of the film industry to discuss the long-term direction. 'It's good that we have the mainland market but it needs to be broadened and have less censorship. Too much censorship affects the creativity of the script,' he said. Leung said the expo would have a positive impact on the industry, but filmmakers still had the greatest responsibility. 'It's not just about getting help from the government. The most important thing is to improve the quality of local films,' he said.