Hi-tech firms in the country did a combined $12 billion worth of business in 2006, the research firm Dolev-Abramovich reported on Sunday, ahead of the opening of the Israel Venture Association's 2007 Israel Hi-Tech Conference. "The profit made from the country's hi-tech sector is dependent upon the continued investments that are made from abroad into Israel's industry," noted Eli Barkat, conference co-chairman and managing partner of BRM Capital, who added that the continued success of the local hi-tech sector is "of national importance." In 2006, the country's hi-tech sector did $12.05b. worth of business, nearly quadruple 2005 levels when it reported revenues of $3.7b. Over the last decade, said Dolev-Abramovich, the hi-tech sector in Israel, including the money raised for initial public offerings, stock offerings of start-up companies and sales, has generated $55b. of business. Hi-tech start-ups raised some $1.26b. in 2006, while total sales from hi-tech companies last year surpassed $10b., rising from $2.42b. in 2005.