Independence presents "potential difficulties" for the north of England, particularly if the economies diverge and draw investment away from the area, but also opportunities for future co-operation, Mr Salmond told an audience in the Scottish Borders today.
He delivered a speech in Hawick, 15 miles from the English border, on the latest leg of his summer tour of public meetings around Scotland.
Prime Minister David Cameron was accused of "a lack of leadership" by bowing to Ukip and Tory backbenchers to hold an in/out referendum on the European Union (EU) which Mr Salmond believes he does not want.
Mr Salmond said: "With independence we could do so much more, because establishing strong growth here in Scotland would change the centre of economic gravity and prosperity here in these islands, and change it for the better.
"This will be of great benefit to Scotland, but also of great benefit to our colleagues to the north of England.
"A Borderlands report, conducted and commissioned by the authorities in north of England, looked at Scottish autonomy and see the success that they believe increased Scottish autonomy will bring to Scotland, and they think that has opportunities and potential difficulties for the north of England. Difficulties if Scotland becomes so successful that it could grow and divert investment away from the north of England.
"But they also list the opportunities and this Borderlands initiative is about seizing those opportunities, about growth, and a successful economy in Scotland can actually benefit our friends in the immediate south who in many ways have been a hugely neglected area of England.
"It shows the co-operation possible in that context: independence and interdependence."
Mr Salmond promoted the benefits of the EU to the rural Borders area, particularly the Common Agricultural Policy, fishing agreements and access to foreign workers, and suggested independence may be the only way to safeguard these benefits.
"We benefit from the human element in the European Union," he said.
"Today there is approximately 160,000 workers and students who have chosen to come from Poland, Ireland, Holland, France and other countries of the EU.
"They make a massive contribution to Scotland's culture, economy and society. Their presence is an important reminder why Scotland's future lies in Europe.
"I don't actually believe for one single minute that David Cameron actually wants to leave the EU but he is in danger of playing a game of party management that's getting out of hand.
"There is now a very real risk, through a lack of leadership on his part, that could result in the UK sleepwalking to the EU exit door."
He said Mr Cameron's decision was prompted by the threat of Ukip in England, Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers and the desire to embarrass Labour.
Paraphrasing Scots bard Robert Burns' ode To A Mouse, Mr Salmond concluded: "Scotland didn't feature in any of those considerations, and all of these considerations are going awry. The best laid plans o' mice an' David Cameron gang aft agley."
Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore accused Mr Salmond of lacking the "courage of his convictions" after his speech in Hawick.
Mr Moore said: "The First Minister is tying himself in knots saying we will keep all things British one minute by maintaining five unions and then talks about complete separation the next.
"He cannot expect to come to Hawick, not far from the border with England, and ignore shared priorities over trade, free movement of people, transport links, jobs or broadband connections.
"People know everything will not stay the same under independence. There would be new currency arrangements, new trade arrangements, new military arrangements which from the record of proposals put forward from the Scottish Government are nowhere near as good as what we have now as part of the UK family.
"I am disappointed that the First Minister didn't have the courage of his convictions today to tell the people of Hawick what independence would mean for so many aspects of day-to-day life not just for those who live in the Borders but for those across the length and breadth of Scotland."
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: "Unfortunately Alex Salmond is forgetting one very important thing amid this boisterous bravado.
"A separate Scotland's automatic entry into the EU is far from assured, which makes many of today's claims utterly redundant.
"The assumptions set out today are based entirely on a new state waltzing into the EU, something countless experts have made clear can't happen.
"It is completely ridiculous for the First Minister to bang on about the importance of trading with the EU on one hand while placing obstacles to trade closer to home with his separation fantasy on the other.
"We want Scotland to play a strong role in a reformed EU - that will only happen as part of the United Kingdom.
"Only as part of the UK will the people of Scotland have that choice to make as part of the in-out referendum in 2017."