There is no way that Milton Keynes will be able to swipe second-city status from Birmingham, says the chief executive of Milton Keynes council.
John Best said that "wild estimates" predicting that Milton Keynes will supersede Birmingham in size over the next ten years were "complete nonsense".
He said: "Our population will only rise from a quarter to a third of a million over the next 30 years - there is no way we can challenge Birmingham as the second city, not in 30 years or 130 years."
Mr Best's comments come at the start of a twoday visit to talk to Birmingham business leaders about possible collaborations between the two cities.
The events, organised by Birmingham Forward, will involve a meeting today between Mr Best and 25 members of the Birmingham business community at the Hotel du Vin followed by a breakfast event tomorrow for 80 city business leaders.
Sean Hickey, chief executive of Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce and Juniper Strong, head of strategy and growth at Milton Keynes council, will also be part of the discussions.
Simon Murphy, chief executive of Birmingham Forward, said he hoped the meeting would dispel the "bizarre fear" that Milton Keynes would threaten business in the city.
He said: "We and the professional community are worried about the negative noises about the development of Milton Keynes.
"We want people to realise the huge opportunity that Birmingham has to service the development of the south.
"We're really well placed to give property, marketing and construction advice quickly, with good service and at better value- for- money than London."
Both Mr Best and Mr Murphy agreed that Birmingham and Milton Keynes had a number of shared interests on which they could collaborate - namely the continued development of the West Coast Mainline for trains and Birmingham International Airport.
Mr Best said: "I am looking forward to having
good open conversation with the Birmingham business community.
"I don't have all the answers and I'd like to hear ideas that I haven't thought of."
James Watkins, executive director of the West Midlands Business Council, also welcomed the dialogue between the two cities.
However, he said that the wider Milton Keynes area would still significantly impact on the West Midlands and called on the Government to conduct a quick assessment of the issue.
"The area from Milton Keynes to Northampton has been earmarked for residential development, and it will be twice the size of Birmingham in population terms."