HANOI, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Up to 12 billion U.S. dollars is needed to build Van Don special economic zone in Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province by 2030, local media reported Friday.

Quang Ninh has so far mobilized 40 trillion Vietnamese dong (nearly 1.8 billion U.S. dollars) to invest in the zone, mainly for infrastructure development, daily newspaper Tuoi Tre (Youth) quoted Nguyen Manh Tuan, head of the Quang Ninh Economic Zone Management Board, as saying.

An international airport named Van Don in Van Don district, some 50km from Ha Long City, home to the world heritage site of Ha Long Bay, is under construction with investment of 7 trillion Vietnamese dong (nearly 314 million U.S. dollars), and is scheduled to become operational in 2018.

A complex, including a casino, and road routes in the special economic zone are also under construction.

Quang Ninh is planning to build expressways linking Ha Long with Van Don District and Mong Cai City in the province, and with the neighboring port city of Hai Phong.

The Vietnamese government has just agreed in principle that three special economic zones will be built nationwide, including Van Don in northern Quang Ninh province, Van Phong in central Khanh Hoa province, and Phu Quoc in southern Kien Giang province.