Russian business leaders taking part in the conference were eager to point out that Russia's economy was not as gloomy as it is often depicted by the international media.
Mikhail Shamolin, the head of investment giant Sistema, told the panel that in his company, which has invested in 17 sectors, 16 sectors make money.
"The gloomy picture often depicted of the Russian economy, from our perspective, is not really true. There are business opportunities in Russia and businesses do develop, regulation is improving and we as an investor intend to stay in Russia and we see opportunities (here)."
Shamolin was keen to see more opportunities for investment and privatization as "that could help resolve the issue of productivity and the number of jobs that produce value."
Oleg Deripaska, president of aluminium giant Rusal, told the panel that Russia was in a period of transition, rather than crisis although he insisted "a political resolution" to issues like Ukraine was needed.
"There are some areas where we can see tremendous progress- such as in taxation, but I would say that markets in Russia are looking for more points of equilibrium after the shock of sanctions…But it's important to define what will be our new model of economic growth and how we promote the market economy."
In order for Russia to return to growth, a number of guests on CNBC's panel and high-profile members of the audience participating in the debate, such as the chairman of PwC International, Dennis Nally, noted that the government needed to make efforts to understand the needs of its business community and to encourage them to invest again.
That perspective was echoed by Christopher Pissarides, professor of Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE) in London – who said that Russia's young generation needed to be encouraged to create businesses.
CNBC's panel of guests was made up of Anton Siluanov, finance minister of the Russian Federation and Alexei Ulyukayev, minister of Economic Development were joined by Alexey Kudrin, former Russian finance minister and Andrey Makarov, chairman of the Russian government's Committee on Budget and Taxes.
Among the Russian business leaders on the panel were Oleg Deripaska, head of aluminum giant Rusal, Kirill Androsov, managing director of Altera Investment Fund, Mikhail Shamolin, president and chief executive of Russian investment giant Sistema and Oleg Viyugin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MDM Bank.