"The high-tech's continued success must be perceived as a national effort," he added.
Date presented during the conference by the D&A business information company showed that high-tech deals carried out in Israel in 2006 totaled $12.047 billion, compared to approximately $3.7 billion in 2005, a rise of 225 percent.
In total, all high-tech business transactions carried out in Israel in the past decade (1997-2006) amounted to approximately $55 billion.
These transactions include private fund raisings by start-up companies, public stock issues and purchasing deals. Start-up companies raised $1.260 billion last year, compared to $1.215 billion in 2005.
The companies' purchasing deals totaled $10.123 billion, compared to $2.424 billion last year – a rise of 318 percent.
Direct added value to Israeli economy
Gilai Dolev, research manager at D&A, estimated that the investments carried out by venture capital funds were directly responsible for the creation of half of the job openings in the high-tech industry – 35,000-40,000 out of the industry's 70,000 workers.
Overall, the high-tech industry contributes to the Israeli economy about $7 billion a year from employees' salaries, constituting approximately 2.5 percent of Israel's workforce (excluding the defense industries). These workers produce about 6 percent of Israel's gross national project, estimated at $165 billion.
"The Israeli high-tech industry is responsible for 50 percent of the industrial exports (excluding the defense industry)," said Dolev. "It is growing at a rate of 12 percent a year and serves as a significant engine for the economy's general growth objectives, aimed at 6 percent.
"The ongoing growth in the high-tech industry brings a direct added value to the rest of the economy and causes the acceleration of commerce, services, asset sales, tax growth, development of non-profit organizations, and the welfare of all the State's citizens in general."