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I'm using a debian wheezy/sid, and it should support multiarch:

$ dpkg --print-foreign-architectures
i386

However, I cannot install packages (I am sure exist):

$ sudo apt-get install zlib1g:i386
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package zlib1g

How can I install zlib1g for i386?

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Make sure that your /etc/apt/sources.list contains the requested architectures. It should look like

deb [arch=amd64,i386] http://ftp.debian.org/debian sid main contrib
#   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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