The Government's chief policy adviser on diversity issues yesterday said he was "moved" by the commitment of Birmingham's professional sector to equal opportunities.
Waqar Azmi was speaking after a Birmingham Forward event exploring how private businesses could follow Civil Service guidelines on diversity.
Whitehall's Chief Diversity Officer was answering questions from city professionals on his Government-backed Delivering A Diverse Civil Service review, which lists ten guidelines for mandarins.
Mr Azmi said Birmingham was on course to be one of the most successful commercial cities in Europe if companies utilised the diverse "talent pool" it had to offer.
He said: "One of the biggest issues that employers will have to deal with in coming years is Birmingham's changing population.
"And if Birmingham is committed to being one of the greatest cities in Europe, if it invests in the talent pool it has at its disposal, I am sure it will be."
The event was organised by Birmingham Forward, in partnership with young professionals group Birmingham Future, and held at the Gateley Waring offices on Edmund Street.
Mr Amzi first came to prominence in the Midlands when he founded the Worcestershire Racial Equality Council. He also served on the official inquiry into the Oldham race riots.
He said: "When I saw at first hand the commitment to business ethics in Birmingham I was moved. There are people who are committed to bringing Birmingham forward and making it a successful city through diversity.
"I had a very positive reception and was very impressed with the professionals I met who wanted to know how to put into the private sector changes proposed for the civil service."