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Birmingham has been named Europe's best business environment, beating off tough competition from cities such as London, Paris, Madrid and Berlin.
The decision to award the UK's second city with the accolade came on the back of the European Cities Entrepreneurship Ranking (ECER) study, which took into consideration the views of 1,600 companies across the continent.
When Birmingham's economic environment, quality of life and business infrastructure were taken into account, the city was found to come top of the list of 21, with its conferencing and events facilities among the contributing factors.
Commenting on the news, Councillor Whitby, stated that the ECER award is a "great achievement for the city".
"My personal ambition is to see our great city elevated to the top 20 best cities to live in over the next 20 years," he told the Birmingham Post.
"And today's entrepreneurship ranking tells us that we are well on our way. Our sophisticated links across the world, especially with the private sector, are helping to lever more than £17 billion worth of investment, both under construction and proposed, into Birmingham over the next 10 years creating nearly 40,000 new jobs."
Just last week, Birmingham was also named the 56th best city in the world for quality of life in the 2008 report from Mercer.
(Related categories of interest see Birmingham Venues)