Prime Minister John Key said he was happy with the results of the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia.
The gathering, which included China, the US, Japan, Canada and New Zealand, concluded on Sunday with no agreement on a free trade deal concluded.
At the close of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the leaders agreed to try to limit damage from the European financial crisis by supporting free trade, strengthening public finances and reforming their economies.
Key said talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership were headed in the right direction.
He said Putin's invitation for him to visit Moscow next year for talks was a good signal.
"It's very unrealistic we can get a deal in 2012 but the invitation for 2013 was an indication of the timetable he was working to," Key said.
"It's never over till it's over but I thought it was very positive."
Key held a half hour meeting with Putin at the leaders' summit on Saturday, with the free trade deal and the issue of Syria dominating discussions.
Key suggested the first meeting between the two leaders was warm.
TV ONE's Political Editor Corin Dann, who was in Vladivostok for the summit, said concern over farming subsidies was a big "stumbling block" to a deal, with Russia wary of opening its markets to New Zealand's dairy produce.
Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal involving New Zealand, the US and nine other countries are at a critical stage, however there has been little opportunity to progress the talks here other than via bilateral meetings between some of the other nations part of it.
Key acknowledged falling Chinese demand for raw materials was something New Zealand needed to watch as it could affect Australia, New Zealand's biggest trading partner.
Meanwhile, Key said he also raised the issue of Syria with Putin. He said Putin assured him he was acutely aware of the situation and committed to resolution to the conflict.
Russia has blocked UN attempts to impose sanctions on the Syrian government.
After the Apec summit, held in Russia's Far East, the Prime Minister was due to travel to Japan for a two-day visit.