Confidence in the central Government has soared to a record high, according to a university survey. The confidence level rose from 43.5 per cent in October to 51.5 per cent last month, the survey by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong revealed. Despite the economic gloom and soaring unemployment, people's confidence in the SAR's future also rose - from 49 per cent in October to 52.5 per cent last month, the highest since June last year and a strong recovery from the 46 per cent recorded in August, the lowest in recent years. Of the 1,000-plus people polled, 44.1 per cent said they trusted the SAR Government, up from the October figure of 39.7. Those who did not trust the administration dropped slightly from 27.4 per cent in October to 26.1 per cent last month. Political commentator Professor Lau Siu-kai, of the Chinese University, said the increase in confidence in the SAR Government was partly due to Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's re-election campaign. 'He has publicly stated his administration has shortcomings and he pledged to better gauge public views,' Professor Lau said. The promise to review civil service pay and the flexible approach towards schooling mainland children had also won support, he said. Professor Lau said he expected the ratings would continue to rise as Mr Tung made more pre-election promises. He said confidence in Beijing had risen as a result of China's entry into the World Trade Organisation and senior officials' pledges to fully support the SAR during the economic downturn. Pollster Robert Chung Ting-yiu said that confidence in the future of Hong Kong was on an upward trend, but that the latest increment was not significant. Those who had faith in 'one country, two systems' dropped slightly from 62 per cent to 59 per cent over the past two months. Meanwhile, Executive Councillor Raymond Ch'ien Kuo-fung urged workers to better prepare themselves amid fears of more job losses. Responding to the move by Motorola to relocate its manufacturing base to the mainland and Malaysia and lay off up to 800 local workers, Mr Ch'ien said the flow of capital and production to cheaper locations, such as the mainland, was part of a world trend. 'One should be more pro-active in facing [the challenge]. Capital will move to where it will yield the highest return in the world. And the manufacturing process will follow the capital,' Mr Ch'ien said. 'Hong Kong should improve its business environment. Business costs here are still high. Therefore we must have strengths in terms of productivity.' Another Exco member, Tam Yiu-chung, head of the Employees Retraining Board, said the Government could only help workers through training and retraining.