What is the scope for local upgrading strategies where producers operate in global value chains? The literature on industrial clusters emphasizes the role of inter-firm co-operation and local institutions in enabling upgrading. The value chain literature focuses on the role of global buyers and chain governance in defining upgrading opportunities. This paper argues that clusters are inserted into global value chains in different ways, and that this has consequences for enabling or disabling local-level upgrading efforts. It pays particular attention to the position of developing country firms selling to large, global buyers.