Mr Putin opened the meeting by introducing Valentina Matvienko, his new envoy to the Northwestern Federal District, and gave her her envoy’s document.
He called for giving priority attention to the organisation of transport links between the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions and German seaports.
He ordered Ms Matvienko to permanently monitor the construction of ferries, in particular, the Ust-Luga ferry, as the projects were of crucial importance to all of Russia.
The district economy had improved lately, with a 16.4% rise in industrial output and an increase of fiscal revenues. Wage arrears were cut by half, so the district had the smallest in Russia.
However, the district was only fourth for aggregate investments, which did not suffice for the comprehensive modernisation of the manufacturing industries, while the wear and tear of machinery was increasing.
As he referred to the lucrative objects of large long-term investment, Mr Putin especially stressed the fuel-and-energy complex, transport infrastructure, timber industry, fishing, international tourism and small business.
The President called for paying close attention to the municipal economy while taking into account a bill drafted at the time for the delineation of powers between the levels of administration. The wear and tear of municipal projects exceeded 45% while local authorities could not afford repairs and replacements. Authorities at every level must know their responsibilities, liabilities and opportunities, the President said.
Mr Putin also mentioned the problem of the Kaliningrad Region, and said that Russia would insist on compliance with agreements it had made with the European Union.