Council leaders have been criticised for ditching the name 'Greater Birmingham' as they launch a new region-wide authority comprising Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and the Black Country.
The new regional council will be called the West Midlands Combined Authority but MP Gisela Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) said the rest of the world had no idea where the West Midlands was - while Birmingham was a name known across the globe.
She said: "This is about creating economic prosperity and that includes helping our employers import and export.
"But if you go to a trade fair in China and start talking about a West Midlands combined authority, they'd have trouble finding it on a map. But they know what Birmingham is."
Plans for a new region-wide council were launched at an event in Coventry today attended by Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore.
Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell and Wolverhampton will all be included in the new body, and places like Rugby, Nuneaton, Lichfield, Bromsgrove and Redditch could later join as 'non-constituent members'.
The aim is to match the success of Greater Manchester's combined authority, which includes ten towns and cities and has been granted control of billions of pounds previously spent by central government.
But while Birmingham City Council originally wanted to call the body Greater Birmingham, the name was ditched, apparently because of objections from other councils.
The new council received a warm welcome from Birmingham MP Jack Dromey (Lab Erdington), who said: "We need the region to pull together, putting aside past differences.
"Today's announcement is the landmark first step. Now we need the Chancellor to let go, devolving power and resources so we can got on with job of building a world-class economy with good jobs and hope for the future in the heart of England."
Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell (Con) said: "I greatly welcome this. It is essential that we do get our act together in the West Midlands and that we are very much the equal of the 'northern powerhouse' as we seek investment, employment and expansion opportunities."
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), said: "We congratulate the seven authorities for working together quickly to put today's statement of intent together.
"It is an exciting document and we look forward to working with the West Midlands Combined Authority to make their ambitions a reality."
He said the new body should make improving transport a priority.
"Transport is a particularly important area where the creation of a combined authority can drive the amazing work that is already being done at New Street station and the plans for the HS2 station at Curzon Street and UK Central at Bickenhill," he added.
"Extending the Midland Metro tram network, upgrading Birmingham Airport and the M42 will all work towards the combined authority creating a transport network that will match their aim to match the best in Europe."
Coventry business leaders said it was essential that Coventry was included.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "It is clear that councils across the West Midlands are set to press ahead with a combined authority.
"Our members, in our most recent quarterly economic survey, recognised there is strength in being part of a larger area but, while they are disinterested in geographical and political boundaries, many companies have a loyalty to Coventry and Warwickshire together.
"So that link must remain intact as the combined authority, in whatever form, moves forward."
Councillor Bob Sleigh, leader of Solihull Council, said: "The establishment of a combined authority gives us a unique opportunity to drive forward a series of objectives in support of economic growth and progressive public service reform.
"We recognise there is a £16 billion output gap between the West Midlands and the national average.
"We generate around £4,000 per person less in wealth than the national average and clearly eliminating that gap is one of our key priorities moving forward."
Last year, the Chancellor spoke about the need to rebalance the UK economy and now, collectively, we are responding in our own terms, through the creation of the West Midlands Combined Authority at the heart of a Midlands Engine."
Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary and Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, said: "I welcome the ambition shown today by the new West Midlands Combined Authority and will back them in their mission to drive forward the 'Midlands engine'.
"This is a great opportunity to help increase security and opportunity for working people across the West Midlands, and I look forward to supporting local communities and businesses to help achieve this."
Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: "This is major step forward that could attract hundreds of millions of pounds of investment to the region.
"It will bring greater opportunities and jobs to Wolverhampton and the wider region and help rebalance the national economy.
"Labour has been calling at a national and local level for the devolution of greater power and resources and this paves the way for that to happen.
"The Government must now move swiftly to devolve power and resources in areas like housing, transport, skills and employment."