Malcolm Turnbull Is In Silicon Valley This Week: Here's Who He's Meeting

Australia’s communications minister Malcolm Turnbull is visiting technology giants in Silicon Valley this week as part of a two-week trip to the US.

Turnbull left Sydney on Saturday and has since met with executives from Google, Facebook, Square and AngelList. A spokesperson said the minister planned also to meet with NBN satellite builder Loral, Twitter and Cisco.

He held a 30-minute Q&A session on his Facebook page while at the social network’s Menlo Park headquarters yesterday morning, during which he acknowledged that “we need more to encourage innovative companies in Australia” by improving employee share option arrangements and the availability of funding.

A spokesperson for the minister told Business Insider Australia that Turnbull was travelling at his own expense, despite a schedule that was “very heavy with industry and government meetings and engagements”.

“Malcolm is in the US for two weeks,” he said. “The purpose is to meet with technology firms on the West Coast.

“He will visit Washington to meet with the US Government to discuss postal service reform, e-government and cybersecurity as well as to speak at the USSC conference in Washington.

“He will also speak at the West Coast AALD in Palo Alto. While the schedule is very heavy with industry and government meetings and engagements, as well as attending the G’day USA events in New York next week, he is travelling at his own expense.”

Minister Turnbull is an active social media user and has been keeping almost 40,000 Facebook fans and more than 214,000 Twitter followers posted with observations from his trip.

Earlier this week, he broke the news that mobile payments start-up Square would expand to Australia after meeting CEO Jack Dorsey. Square later denied that the company was about to enter the Australian market.

He has also posted photos with Coalition MP Paul Fletcher in a Loral factory and with Facebook COO and “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg.

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