Dozens of Chinese investors have attended a summit designed to put Birmingham in pole position in the race for multi-billion-pound backing.
About 60 people, including investors from the Far East, are attending the Birmingham - East Asian Business Investors Summit which taking place in Parliament today.
The event was organised by Liam Byrne MP, co-vice chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for East Asian Business, who said that, while the city was fighting above its weight in terms of trading with China, there was still a plethora of opportunities.
The event heard from Sir David Eastwood, vice-chancellor of Birmingham University, Marketing Birmingham chief executive Neil Rami and city firm NVC Lighting which is backed in China.
Mr Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) said: "The first thing we want to showcase is the strength of our science.
"Birmingham University has some extraordinary relationships in place in China and China is looking for partners that can help them innovate.
"Secondly, we want to get across the fundamental advantages of Birmingham - like the proximity to London and connectivity but without the cost base.
"Thirdly, this is a very entrepreneurial place and is comfortable with doing business internationally - and that isn't true of everywhere in the UK."
He added: "We are testing the water with this first summit and we have had 60 responses from Chinese investment banking and commercial investors to hear what a great place Birmingham is to do business."
Representatives from the Chinese Embassy, the China-Britain Business Council and the British Chamber of Commerce in China attended the event.
Mr Byrne said he hoped it would "flush out where the short-term opportunities are, to make sure they happen".
On the back of Jaguar Land Rover, the West Midlands is already leading the way in terms of exporting to China.
The Far Eastern superpower is the largest export market for this region and, of the £2.9 billion worth of goods shipped to China last quarter, £1.4 billion was made in the West Midlands.
The Post has also previously reported that the West Midlands is the only UK region with a export surplus to China, after that expanded to £1.74 billion last year.
However, Mr Byrne said that was only scratching the surface.
While Birmingham has strong ties with places like sister city Guangzhou, on the basis the city has a population of 1.07 million, there are 136 larger cities in China.
Meanwhile, China is reportedly set to dump up to $1.3 trillion - £800 billion - of US Treasury bonds, leaving a vast potential investment pot.
Mr Byrne added: "China is moving up the value chain. Over the course of a five-year plan, China wants to reach 20 per cent high value, like tech and low carbon.
"China is looking for partners to help them innovate so that emphasis on innovation and high growth businesses is important for the future.
"Then for the longer term they are looking for stable investment as China takes trillions of dollars out of Treasury bills.
"That is why they want to make investments in stable areas, like infrastructure and utilities - and this city needs a lot of infrastructure investment over the next ten years.
"It is quite possible in five to ten years' time we could increase foreign investment by 25 per cent by just doing well in China.
"There is a well of money coming Europe's way and we need to make sure we are doing what we can so as much as possible comes to Birmingham."