The West Midlands has all the ingredients for business and property investment success Sir Digby Jones told an audience in London yesterday.
Developers and agents from the commercial property sector were given a taste of the opportunities in the region at a breakfast meeting at the Ritz.
The Birmingham-born director general of the CBI said the region's portfolio of commercial property was securing an eyecatching record of inward investment as he sought to drum up further investment.
He said: "The basic foundations of future economic prosperity are in place. We have the location - more than 80 per cent UK population is within 150 miles by road, and a growing number of air links to Europe and beyond.
"We have the workforce - dynamic, adaptable and ready and waiting. Thirty per cent of our workforce is under 34-years-old.
"Birmingham has the youngest population of any city in Europe.
"That gives the city and the wider region a real edge in terms of future labour supply.
"And we have the office space - a wide range of modern, high-grade, high-value offices in a choice of city centre locations or out-of-town employment sites and science parks."
Much could be done to support entrepreneurs in the Midlands, said Sir Digby, who stands down from his CBI post this summer.
Almost 15,000 new business start-ups happened in the region in 2004, while 2,300 firms from over 40 countries have chosen the region as a base.
Sir Digby cited the example of IT firm Capgemini which created 100 jobs when it moved to Telford last year.
He added: "Rieter Automotive is also relocating from Leeds to Stoke-on-Trent bringing 200 jobs, while TK Maxx located in Walsall, creating 1,200 jobs.
"We have a long and proud history of making things happen in the West Midlands, from hosting international sporting events to producing world-class products that carry the region's name across the globe."
Sir Digby was speaking as president of the West Midlands Ambassadors, a small group which harnesses the skills and influence of some of the region's most respected individuals to promote the region.
The Ritz breakfast audience was also given a glimpse of the Advantage West Midlands land and property portfolio being showcased at MIPIM 2006, the world's biggest property show, in Cannes, France, on March 14-17.
AWM is exhibiting flagship schemes including projects at Walsall Waterfront and Bilston Urban Village, the i54 in Wolverhampton and technology parks at Longbridge, Pebble Mill and Bromsgrove.