31. We welcome the opening of NDB Regional Offices and their activities in member countries. We welcome the establishment of the Americas Regional Office in Sao Paulo, along with its sub-office in Brasilia, and look forward to the opening of the two remaining NDB Regional Offices in Russia and India in 2020. Building upon the core functions of the Bank's headquarters, its Regional Offices shall contribute to expanding its operations and striving for a more robust project portfolio for all member countries.
32. We acknowledge the progress made by the New Development Bank towards expanding its membership. The expansion of the NDB membership in accordance with its Articles of Agreement will strengthen the Bank's role as a global development finance institution and further contribute to the mobilization of resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other EMDC's. We look forward to the Board of Governors concluding the preparatory work with the aim of taking timely and considered decisions on the expansion of the membership in due course.
33. We also attach great importance to other key cooperation initiatives, encompassing the BRICS Task Force on PPP and Infrastructure, which facilitates dialogue on infrastructure, including the G20 infrastructure agenda, the NDB's Project Preparation Facility, the effectiveness of which will be enhanced by launching its first set of projects at the earliest, and our cooperation with a view to enhancing the representation of developing countries and emerging economies in the Multilateral Development Banks.
34. We note with satisfaction further steps undertaken to ensure the preparedness of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and welcome the conclusion of a second test run, with added elements of complexity, of the de-linked portion of the CRA mechanism, including encashment.
35. We note the progress achieved in establishing a BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund and look forward to its operation. We support the on-going collaboration to develop our local bond markets. We will continue to communicate on other possible areas of currency cooperation, consistent with each central bank's mandate.
36. We acknowledge the importance of the BRICS Survey on International Payments System.
37. We positively assess the progress achieved under the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership including ensuring innovative, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and look forward to its review under the Russian Chairmanship in 2020. We applaud the progress that members have made in the implementation of the BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation, promoting several activities for policy sharing, information exchange, trade and investment facilitation and promotion, and development of trade studies. We welcome the conclusion of the BRICS Joint Trade Study Review, which identified trade and investment potential between BRICS countries, and instruct our ministers to continue to take actions that give support for joint initiatives of cooperation between our countries.
38. We welcome the holding of the BRICS Business Forum and acknowledge the efforts of the BRICS Business Council (BBC) in promoting trade and investment among its members by fostering cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, agribusiness, including biotechnology, financial services, regional aviation, alignment of technical standards, skills development and digital economy.
39. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Women Business Alliance (WBA), which aims at increasing the role of women as drivers of economic growth, contributing to the economic empowerment of women in our countries and bringing a distinctive perspective on issues of interest for the BRICS business community. The WBA's agenda, working methods and other matters related to its functioning will be determined by its members. We look forward to the selection of five members per country and the holding of the first meeting of the WBA to take place as early as possible in 2020.
40. We call on the WBA and BBC to cooperate actively and coordinate their activities in order to be mutually reinforcing and strengthen the participation of women in all BRICS business initiatives, including in the BBC.