Hanoi (VNA) – The Republic of Korea is expected to face difficulties in achieving an annual economic growth of 3 percent this year, experts have said.

The Bank of Korea - the central bank - has predicted that the nation’s economy could expand by 2.6 percent in 2017, compared with 2.8 percent in 2016.

The RoK Ministry of Strategy and Finance said ministries are hoping the government to increase the spending by 6 percent in 2018 to better ensure social welfare, education, and research and development projects.

The government aims to spend 141.1 trillion won on public welfare, health and employment in 2018, up 8.9 percent from this year.

State spending on education is set to increase 7 percent year-on-year to 61.4 trillion won, but environmental and cultural spending will shrink 3.9 percent and 5 percent to 6.6 trillion won and 6.5 trillion won, respectively.

Meanwhile, the RoK’s budget for national defence is expected to rise 8.4 percent to 43.7 trillion won in 2018. -VNA