Both Paris and Beijing, as well as Japan and the United States, have military bases in East Africa's smallest country due to its strategic location along a key shipping lane leading to the Suez Canal.
Its geographic importance forms the foundation of Djibouti's hopes of becoming a major trading hub.
Two years ago, it inaugurated its newest and biggest port -- part of an infrastructure expansion, partly funded by China, that includes three other ports and a railroad to the capital of landlocked Ethiopia.
But the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sounded the alarm over an increase of Djibouti's public debt from 50 percent of GDP in 2014 to 85 percent in 2017.
"I would not want international investments to weaken the sovereignty of our partners," Macron said Tuesday, in a reference to China's growing African presence.
"French companies are able to offer a respectful partnership," the president added.
Guelleh, who visited Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2017, when he described himself as "a great friend of China," told Macron: "There are opportunities for French companies, particularly in the field of infrastructure.
"Our country is open, I have not lost hope that France can boost its investments in Djibouti."
Later Tuesday, Macron is to visit the remote Ethiopian town of Lalibela with its renowned 13th-century church complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The president is expected to announce support for a new protective system to replace the metal-and-tarpaulin structures which loom over the erosion-threatened monuments today, much to residents' chagrin.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)