"We have signed an investment agreement with the town of Aleksandrow Lodzki and the local special economic zone," spokeswoman Malgorzata Mejer told Agence France-Presse. Construction work is scheduled to begin at the end of the year, with the factory in production by 2009. "We intend to invest $50m between now and 2012 in the project to build a cosmetics factory, and to create 300 jobs,' Mejer said. The move is part of a trend that has seen several multi-national companies trying to cash in on booming Eastern markets. Greater disposable income in former communist countries has led to a huge increase in money spent on cosmetics. Proctor & Gamble itself has invested widely in Poland after entering the market in 1990, spending money on developing a product distribution network. P&G also own a factory producing disposable nappies in Warsaw and one for disposable razors. Eastern Europe saw larger increases in sales than the West, with a rise of 23 per cent in exports to Poland in 2006. Other countries that have recently invested in the country include L'Oreal and Beiersdorf, which last month transferred some of its production from Poland to Italy. Beiersdorf stated that its ultimate aim with the realignment was to achieve a 5.5 per cent slice of the global market for personal care products by the year 2010, with growth particularly focused on booming markets such as Eastern Europe. Proctor & Gamble was established in 1837 and is now one of the largest consumer goods companies, marketing 300 brands in 160 countries. According to the company website, it had worldwide sales of $68bn in fiscal year 2006.