The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor's Industrial Cooperation Authority forged industrial cooperation agreements with 118 foreign companies in 2006 for a record total value of $1.5 billion, representing a 500 percent increase over the previous year. "In 2006, 118 foreign companies committed to reciprocal procurements deals at a total value of $1.5b. compared with $205 million in 2005," said Bina Bar-On, director general of the Authority. About half of the annual reciprocal procurements were from Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, which committed to make $818m in procurements from Israeli companies over the next 10 years. The agreement was signed last year following the Investment Promotion Center's grant to Intel for the building of its new Fab 28 facility in Kiryat Gat. Bar-On added that of the reciprocal procurements to be executed until 2017, which add up to over a billion dollars, $355m. are from US companies, $693m. from European businesses and $22m. from Asian ventures. In total, there are 271 foreign companies involved in reciprocal purchase commitments with Israel. As a result of the intensive activities of the Authority, to enforce fulfillments, the volume of arrears fell 26% in 2006 compared to the previous year and stands at $190m. The foreign companies participating in the program realized reciprocal purchase commitments in Israel at a total amount of $2.8b. in 2006, an increase of 55% compared to the previous year. Of the realized commitments, $575m. were in the defense and security industry and $2.25b. in the civilian field. The number of Israeli factories benefiting from the realization of the commitments stood at 239, of which 38 received orders at a volume of over $10m.; 15 at a volume of between $5m. and $10m.; 64 at a volume of between $1m. and $5m. and 122 at a volume of $1m. Furthermore, 22 new companies joined the Industrial Cooperation Program, most notably Siemens Transport System, which will supply passenger train wagons to Israel Railways. Other companies include Boeing, HDW Shipyard, GE Aircraft Engines, IBM, MAN, Rockwell Collins, Kocks Crane and Pratt &Whitney.