Council chiefs from the Borders will travel north to learn from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) – despite government plans to scrap its board.
Ministers faced an angry backlash when they confirmed they wanted to scrap the HIE board and replace it with an overarching national body.
As part of the same review, they also announced plans to create a new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.
Council officials from Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders will now travel to the region to “learn the lessons” of HIE before the creation of their new body.
The revelation has prompted renewed calls for the government to rethink its decision to scrap the dedicated HIE board.
Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron said: “It’s clear that HIE is deemed good enough for other parts of the country to learn from.
“That in itself should send a message to the SNP to stop its plans to scrap the board of HIE which has proved so essential in maintaining local links.”
Labour Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant added: “This really begs the question that if HIE are the model for best practice with regards enterprise boards, why on earth are the SNP government wanting to dismantle what is deemed a success and move the board to the central belt of Scotland?
“Surely the time has come for a rethink.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council chief executive, Gavin Stevenson, said he hoped to “learn the lessons from a body (HIE) that has been around 20 years – what to do quickly for quick wins and also what areas weren’t quite as successful”.
A spokesman for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Secretary Keith Brown said: “We have been very clear that HIE will continue to be locally-based, managed and directed, providing dedicated support to the local economy.
“The new arrangements will protect the unique service that HIE delivers for our Highland and island economies and will enhance the support that is available to businesses, employers and employees across the region.”