South Korean tyre maker Hankook Tyre has picked Slovakia for a new factory in which it plans to invest more than €500 million ($US643 million), a Slovak economy ministry spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

Slovakia reportedly beat two other new European Union members, Poland and Hungary, in the competition for the Hankook plant - the company chose a site near the western Slovak town of Levice, about 130 km (78 miles) east of the capital Bratislava, and the factory should create around 1,500 new jobs.

"It was confirmed by a phone call, and we also received a letter from the company," spokesman Maros Havran told Reuters.