US ambassador Philip T. Reeker visited Birmingham to see preparations for the Commonwealth Games ©Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council has hosted a visit from the United States Ambassador to outline the city’s preparations for this year's Commonwealth Games.

The Council hosted Philip T. Reeker, the Chargé d'affaires of the United States to the United Kingdom.

A joint approach had reportedly been made to Birmingham City Council and the Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) by the US Embassy in London.

"We were delighted to showcase the city and all of the progress we have made in preparing to deliver the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games," said Deborah Cadman, interim chief executive of Birmingham City Council.

"We’ve learnt a lot in preparing to deliver the Commonwealth Games in just over four years, rather than the usual timescale of seven years.

"We have been clear in developing the Games that residents in all parts of the city must benefit from this global event and outlined how we are doing this to the Ambassador.

"The Games are also a springboard for a golden decade for Birmingham and we would like to build links on everything from trade and investment to arts and culture.

"Visits like this can only help us state our case that we are open for business to the decision makers in the US."

The visit began with a presentation at the Library of Birmingham, before a trip to the Birmingham 2022 countdown clock in Centenary Square.

City officials outlined preparations for the Games, including the Festival 2022 programme.

The Festival 2022 programme was launched on March 17.

Centenary Square was transformed into a giant stage for Wondrous Stories, a show inspired by stories of Birmingham's past, past and future.

Around 200 events will take place surrounding the Commonwealth Games, featuring performances designed to reflect the region's creativity and diversity.

Birmingham City Council said the ambassadorial visit also explored the development of a stronger partnership between the US and Birmingham, which has an existing sister city relationship with Chicago.

Ambassador Reeker had launch with representatives of the council and business leaders from Birmingham, including US banking giant Goldman Sachs.

The bank has announced their intention to expand their existing offices in the city.

"It was great to see all Birmingham is doing to attract trade and investment in the West Midlands," Reeker said.

"I wish Birmingham great success during this global event and the years to follow."

Birmingham is due to host the Commonwealth Games from July 28 to August 8.

Birmingham will become the third English city to host the Games, following London and Manchester.