Local manufacturing firms have impressed the most senior civil servant at the Department of Trade and Industry with their efforts to meet the global challenge.
Sir Brian Bender came to the Midlands for his first regional visit since his appointment as permanent secretary.
The top civil servant was in Birmingham to discuss key economic and regional matters with West Midlands organisations.
In a number of company visits he saw how businesses are looking forward to the challenges and opportunities for the West Midlands in 2006 and beyond.
Sir Brian first visited Angle Ring of Tipton, which manufactures and exports steel and aluminium building components before being shown around Acme Whistles in Birmingham.
Both are among the firms looking to supply products for the 2012 Olympics.
Sir Brian said: "I have been impressed by the way that the companies I have visited are addressing the challenges of globalisation of the world economy.
"They have impressed on me the importance of central and local government in setting the climate for their competitiveness through, for example better regulation and addressing key issues such as business crime."
Sheila Healy, acting regional director, Government Office for the West Midlands, said: "We are delighted that Sir Brian has been able to see at first hand how our work with stakeholders including Advantage West Midlands, the chambers of commerce, local authorities and the Learning and Skills Council bears fruit.
"Through close cooperation we aim to ensure that both private enterprise and publicly funded organisations receive the significant help and guidance they need to tap into funding streams and exploit investment opportunities."
Simon Topman, managing director of Acme Whistles and president of Birmingham Chamber, said: "It was good to meet Sir Brian in our own environment and to see his clear interest in business at the coalface of the SME.
"He was clearly aware of the double-edged sword of globalisation, with its threats and opportunities, and determined to ensure that Government creates an environment that enables business to face both."