Around 300,000 jobs could be created in the Midlands as part of a project to improve transport links between the east and west of the region.
The Midlands Connect partnership also said today that up to £1 billion more could be added to the regional economy by improving transport links to speed up journey times and save businesses nearly £500 million.
The figures were revealed at an event held to launch the newly strengthened Midlands Connect Partnership, an initiative run by the city councils of Birmingham and Nottingham.
The partnership has been charged with developing a Midlands-wide transport strategy to drive the regional economy and power the Government's ambition to boost the economy here.
The strategy, to be developed jointly by the Midlands Connect Partnership and the Department for Transport, will aim to set out credible, long-term transport investment priorities to help unlock growth and jobs.
Today's launch in Derby follows the Government's decision earlier this year to work with the partnership and put £5 million towards the research and development of the strategy, called Midlands Connect: Delivering a Transport Strategy for the Midlands.
It also follows the announcement last week of proposed legislation that would open the door to the Midlands Connect partnership to seek formal powers over strategic transport schemes and investment.
The partnership, which includes more than 40 public and private organisations, has been pressing for better road, rail and freight links.
It said it believed better connectivity was vital for the Midlands to fulfil its growth potential and maximise the significant economic benefits offered by the forthcoming HS2 high speed rail line.
It is estimated that the Midlands has around ten million inhabitants and an annual contribution to the British economy of more than £178 billion a year.
Signatories to the strategy include HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins and Birmingham City Council leader and Midlands Connect co-chairman Sir Albert Bore.
Transport Under-Secretary of State Robert Goodwill MP said: "In addition to the massive investment the Government is making in our transport infrastructure, we want to help regions across the country to make their voices heard on how their transport networks are run.
"We know that good transport doesn't just help people get around, it helps them get on and these are key components of our long term economic plan to boost jobs and growth.
"I congratulate the Midlands Connect partnership on getting the Midlands Engine for Growth in motion and starting work on this vital strategy.
"This is a fantastic opportunity and I look forward to us working together on it."
Sir Albert Bore added: "The Midlands has real economic strengths in engineering, manufacturing, construction and research all of which are crucial to the success of UK plc.
"But the evidence demonstrates that our economy is also constrained by poor transport links, particularly for east-west movements.
"That's why today marks the start of an intensive 18-month process to develop a robust transport strategy identifying the big investments needed to unlock the region's full potential."