He praised the£1.1bn alliance between three developers to turn the city into a major shopping centre. 'I think Birmingham has long cast off its old image and has become a leader in this field. Other cities can learn from it,' he said.
'The very strong partnership between the private sector and public bodies here is there for everybody to see. Birmingham has confirmed itself as a major international city with the G8 summit and I think it will now become a major European retail centre. It is an asset to the UK.'
Speaking at the British Council of Shopping Centres annual conference, Mr Caborn said: 'Our policy of putting town centres first is here to stay. We are not trying to strike a balance between town centres and out-of-town shopping.
Mr Caborn said local planning authorities had to take a positive approach to planning to promote competition, innovation and growth.