Every medal hung around an athletes neck at the 2012 Olympics should be made in Britain, Sir Digby Jones said yesterday.
The CBI director general, a former Birmingham lawyer, told a business summit in London that British firms must not be hamstrung as preparations to host the 2012 Games get under way.
He claimed that if Britain respected "the letter of the law" in regard to EU procurement rules, then the country's businesses would lose out on winning lucrative contracts.
Sir Digby said: "We make medals and insignia for the armies of the world and I can't believe there is not a company in Birmingham, Leeds or London which is unable to provide that at the right cost and quality.
"What worries me is that with this and other things someone says 'the Olympics don't do it that way'.
"It's not about 'little Britain', it's about making sure the wealth, talent and skills created by the Olympics benefit Britain.
"I want to treat procurement in the way France, the US, Spain, Germany or Japan would. I'm not going to take it if we have to go right down to the letter of the law.
"Those other countries would never do that."
Fred Hsu, chief executive of Birmingham's oldest company, badge and medal maker Firmin & Sons, supported Sir Digby's comments and said Birmingham was ready to take on the Olympic medal
contract. "The West Midland medal-making industry is hungry, lean and open for business," he said. "We have a wealth of industry experience here and there is no doubt that we could take on this contract and at the right price."
Birmingham has a long tradition of medal making and is home to a number of long-running manufacturers including Thomas Fattorini's, Vaughtons and Toye, Kenning and Spencer.
Firmin & Sons, which employs 80 at its site in New Town Row, has been in operation since 1677.
"During that time Firmin & Sons has earned three royal warrants and has the capacity and skills to create the Olympic medals," said Mr Hsu.
"I have seen the gold medal won by Denise Lewis in Sydney and it was a fairly simple design."
Sir Keith Mills, vice-chairman of the London organising committee, promised the medals manufacturers would be British.
He said: "We have absolute control of where we place our contracts and British companies have an inherent advantage built-in because they are here, and wherever possible that's the decision we will take.
"As far as medals are concerned, there are some wonderful medal manufacturers in this country which will provide them for us."
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said the business summit - organised by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport - which will be followed by a regional one in Leeds in July, was aimed at ensuring British firms were aware of the opportunities.
She said: "The purpose in holding the first of what will be a series of events is to make sure that business in this country is prepared."
Meanwhile, the consortium which produced the masterplan for London's successful bid has been chosen to design the Olympic Park.
The EDAW consortium plus consultants Arup and Atkins will design the infrastructure of the Park including the utilities, waterways, drainage, landscape, roads and bridges.
Atkins, which employs 1,400 in the West Midlands including 900 in Birmingham, said it was still too early to say which of its sites would be involved in the project.
The consortium is tasked with setting the framework for the regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley in East London.
However, the team will not design the Olympic venues or Athletes' Village, which will be tendered separately.