Putin told the forum on Friday he was confident the Asia-Pacific region would remain "the engine of the world economy" despite its current problems.
The forum's attendance reflected Russia's change in emphasis. China's delegation was headed by Deputy Prime Minister Wang Yang. The only high-profile Western participant was Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell.
Speaking on Saturday, Wang said the Far East development strategy outlined by Putin coincided with China's strategy of "north-east rebirth".
""(The) Russia-Chinese partnership will definitely bring generous fruits," he said.
Wang's address to the forum was short and he left immediately afterwards, in the middle of the session, followed by Chinese officials, including Wang Yilin, chairman of the board at China National Petroleum Corporation.
"This was unexpected but this was okay, we managed," said Boris Titov, chairman of the Russian part of the China-Russia Friendship Committee for Peace and Development.
"The first session was delayed and they (the Chinese delegation) had already a briefing scheduled."
A CNPC official, who was accompanying Yilin but declined to give his name, said only: "The schedule has changed."
Some Russians fret over their country's increased economic reliance on China -- a process encouraged by the Western sanctions -- but there was no sign of any such reservations at the Vladivostok forum.
"Chinese counterparts ... are interested in investments, in organising joint companies - for them this region is of huge interest," Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told the state Rossiya-24 news channel.
And before his departure, CNPC's Yilin told reporters that developing ties with Russia was a priority for Beijing because of the desire to diversify its sources of energy.
"China is importing crude oil from other countries, usually via sea, while here we can import oil by land. This is good protection for the security of our country's crude oil imports."
Read MoreA new global war front taking shape in cyberspace
The Russian government has been passing laws to try to attract investors to the area and has designated Vladivostok a free port, a move that eases its visa regime and is aimed at increasing trade and tourism.
Putin promised on Friday to spend state money in the Far East -- some of it via state-backed investment funds. He pledged Russian companies would expand their presence, words backed by a decision of Rosneft, the country's largest oil producer, to invest 1.3 trillion roubles ($19.26 billion) in projects in the region.
"These huge investments by Russian standards, such attention from the government, this says that all of this (the focus on the Far East) is serious," Dmitry Golovanov, chairman at Eximbank, a unit of the state development bank, Vnesheconombank, told Reuters.
But the scale of the task is huge.
Russia's Far East has lost a quarter of its population since the collapse of the centralised Soviet economy 25 years ago and is now home to only about six million people.
One of Putin's ideas is to encourage internal migration: He has promised free land to Russians who want to develop it.
Read More One year on, how's Russia's 'pivot east' doing?
In Khasan, whose population has halved to less than 1,000 people since 1991, a few new apartment buildings have been built in recent years, inhabited by people who have left their former houses to rot. But for some, Putin's promise of a better future for the region cannot materialise soon enough.
Local shops in Vladivostok are stocked mostly with lower-end products tailored for people's modest budgets, road infrastructure is dismal, and there is a lack of housing.
Alexander, a taxi driver born in Vladivostok and the father of a three-year-old, said he had one goal: to move to the European part of Russia.
"I may have hopes for the (Far East) region, but I have no hope that the quality of life will improve."
Ian Ivory, a partner at Golstblat BLP, was equally pessimitic that China would be the savior of the Far East, or indeed Russia.
He aid the Chinese slowdown would hardest affect emerging markets which are providers of raw materials.
"Russia is another classic example that will feel the pain, and China will be a further negative drag on the Russian economy," Ivory said in e-mailed comments.
- CNBC contributed to this report.