Amongst the range of possible strategies to deal with ongoing development challenges facing the Pacific Island economies, one that has some potential is a policy focus on stimulating the creative or cultural industries. This article reviews the rise in interest around the world in the concept of the so-called creative economy and its role in sustainable development. This interest has particular relevance at the present time in the light of international efforts to raise the profile of culture in development, especially with the replacement in 2015 of the Millennium Development Goals with a new set of sustainable development objectives. The article outlines the current state of the cultural industries’ contribution to growth in the Pacific region, and discusses opportunities and obstacles affecting their further development. The article concludes by identifying some important considerations to be taken into account in the design of effective policy strategies in this area in the future.