Manchester is on its way to securing a place in the top ten of European cities, according to Colin Sinclair, chief executive of investment agency Midas.
Sinclair, speaking in the Hacienda nightclub-inspired Manchester stand, said: "Manchester has come such a long way since Ben Kelly designed the Hacienda 25 years ago.
"We are now established in the top 20 cities of Europe if you take the last annual Cushman & Wakefield ranking and by the time we come back next year we will be able to sell a clear vision that makes us a top ten choice in Europe for a place to live and work."
Sinclair said further branding work on Greater Manchester towns such as Oldham, Bury and Rochdale needed to take place to help better sell the city region.
He added: "Design and ambition are the key to selling the city region overseas and with creative plans for the airport, the universities and more places for people to live, to complement the great places to work that we already have, we will be the UK's second city in the European top ten after London."